Can I sell the house, if my ex isn't paying the mortgage?

Posted on 23 October 2012 by maria

I have split up with my husband & moved out of the marital home - he has now got a charge on the property and he is now unable to pay the morgage, can I sell the property?

Joint mortgages are held as "jointly and severally responsible", which means that both parties to the loan are held equally responsible for the monthly payment. If the monthly mortgage payment isn't made, an arrears notice will appear on both borrowers credit files, irrespective of who is living there or any private arrangements they may have made.

In order to protect your credit profile, I would reccomend that you speak to your lender straight away to advise them of the situation, and offer to make a minimum payment. Most lenders are showing exceptional levels of forbearance (leniency) in these tough times, as long as you keep them advised of what's happening.

I would also suggest that you get the property valued by a couple of estate agents, to give you an exact idea of what price you would be able to market the property at, and what selling price you may realistically expect to achieve. Once you have the figures you are in a better position to put a propsoal to your husband, that will enable you to sell the property, and move on with your credit profile relatively intact.

If your husband refuses the idea of a sale and continues to not pay the mortgage, then you will need to speak to your solicitor, to take legal advice on taking him down the route of a forced sale.

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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