Can an Ex-partner just walk away?

Posted on 21 October 2012 by Emma

Can an Ex-partner just walk away?

Hi my friends partner moved out of their joint house last February. Since then she has not made any contribution to mortgage bills etc, she even cancelled the dd for the mortgage, my friend took it all on but now is starting to struggle with the payments. Where does she stand with her ex not paying a penny. Thank you.

All mortgages taken out by joint borrowers are done so with the parties “jointly and severally responsible” for the loan. That means that even if the loan is based on one party’s income, both borrowers are equally liable for the mortgage payment. So as long as your friends ex-partner stays on the mortgage they are jointly liable for the payment.

If your friend is unable to make the monthly mortgage payment then they should contact the lender straight away to advise them, and discuss the options available. Also if the mortgage payment is not made, then an arrears status will be placed on both borrowers credit files, irrespective of whether the ex-partner feels they have no obligations having walked away. 

As mortgage arrears can be a serious hindrance to obtaining future credit, I would recommend that your friend speaks to a solicitor and arranges for some mediation on this subject, before they get to the point of missing payments. If you would like to discuss their options in more detail, please let me know and I’ll get one of our consultants to contact you.

Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.

We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.

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