Pennsylvania residents who relinquished their house during the property division phase of their divorce proceedings may want to be prepared for the credit issues they could face as a result. Although a judge may have awarded one spouse the marital home, the other spouse will still be tied to the unpaid debt in the eyes of the mortgage lender.

When an ex-spouse looks up their credit report after a divorce, the report will still include the mortgage for their marital home even if they no longer own the home. This piece of information could significantly impact a person’s debt-to-income ratio and affect their ability to secure future loans. To make matters worse, a person in this situation could watch their credit score decline as a direct result of their ex-spouse’s failure to keep up with mortgage payments in the future.

Divorce issues like these can be avoided if the ex-spouse who is awarded the marital home in a divorce settlement either sells the home or refinances the mortgage. If the homeowner chooses to refinance the mortgage on the marital home, they would take their ex-spouse’s name off of the mortgage. The ex-spouse who was not awarded the marital home would then be released from any liability for unpaid debt.

With the help of an attorney, an individual who is going through a divorce may be able to avoid credit issues from a shared mortgage and other unforeseen financial problems that could arise. An attorney may be able to help a divorcing spouse by ensuring that the settlement agreement is well constructed and takes all potential liabilities into account.

Source: Credit.com, “How to divide your house in a divorce “, Scott Sheldon , December 04, 2014