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Ask an Expert – Divorce & Debt

Answered By

Joanne Rogers - VP of Mortgage Lending - www.rate.com

Question

How are debts paid by another person considered (i.e. marital residence or other real estate)?

Also, are there any other recommendations or tips to establish and protect credit?

Answer

Debts may be omitted if the loan applicant provides the legal separation agreement or divorce decree ordering the spouse to make payments. (FHA required 12 months of timely payments.)

Contact creditors to establish sole (your own) accounts.

Review your credit report to determine if your ex-spouse is a joint account holder or authorized user, then contact creditors to establish sole accounts. Your financial institution may have specific guidelines on these issues — don’t assume all terms are identical from one bank to another.

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