Managing Your Mortgage Escrow Account in a Divorce Situation

It’s not a fun process for anyone but unfortunately, divorce happens and when there’s a home involved, achieving property title and equity division demands expert analysis and process. Simply transferring ownership and handing over the keys does nothing to absolve one of their obligations to the current mortgage lender.

If one party is relinquishing their ownership, they should also be released from any liability. Release from financing is a process that can only be achieved by modification, refinance, payoff or sale. In today’s world, break-ups do occur with high frequency and having access to the
necessary experience in helping your clients navigate the process as it relates to their mortgage loans is imperative.

One of the common misunderstood aspects of refinancing into a new mortgage is setting up the new escrow account and the costs involved in doing so. This is literally an aspect of mortgage financing where timing is everything.

The amount of funds required to establish a new escrow account is
dependent upon the timing of when current and future property taxes and homeowners insurance are due and payable. As you can imagine this can require a significant amount to be added to the new mortgage or require additional cash to close.

Additionally, in divorce situations many clients are not aware of how
future reimbursements of existing escrow accounts are handled when paying off or refinancing an existing jointly held mortgage. Any time a jointly held mortgage is paid off, whether through a sale or refinance of the martial home, the current lender will send a joint check made payable to both parties on the existing loan for any refunds on overpayment and escrow balances.

It is very important that we inform our divorcing clients of how over payments will be handled to avoid any additional future conflict as to which party should receive the funds because both parties will need to endorse the check.

Always work with a Certified Divorce Lending Professional (CDLP) when going through a divorce and real estate or mortgage financing is present.

This is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or tax advice. You should contact an attorney or tax professional to obtain legal and tax advice. Interest rates and fees are estimates provided for informational purposes only, and are subject to market changes. This is not a commitment to lend. Rates change daily – call for current quotations.

Copyright 2019 Divorce Lending Association. No portion of this post may be reproduced without the written consent of the Divorce Lending Association