What is an Owelty lien? Owelty liens are a type of deed that allows divorcing couples to divide the existing equity in the marital home. This action is commonly utilized in divorces to “buying out” the remaining spouses interest in a home.
The party giving up their interest in the home obtains a lien against the property through a divorce decree, called an Owelty lien. The Owelty lien must be filed at the courthouse in the county records. When the party retaining their interest in the house refinances or sells the home, the other party is paid the value of their Owelty lien. This solution allows one person to obtain the full interest in the home while removing the exiting spouse from the mortgage, while also providing the exiting spouse with cash.
Warning! Both parties need to plan and pre-qualify for a refinance if they wish to retain the property. Many time one spouse can not qualify for the mortgage on their own. Without proper planning BEFORE the divorce is filed the result could be devastating for both. Both spouses credit could be ruined because the retaining spouse can not refinance and the equity can not be divided without a sale. Contact Richard Woodward, your Certified Divorce Lending Specialist for your initial consultation.
Owelty Liens FAQ
An owelty lien is a tool to utilize when the equity of a home needs to be split. Here are some helpful answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding an owelty lien:
Q: Can you put this in simple terms?
A: The owners of the home can use the equity they have in the home to assist in dividing up their property. This action is commonly utilized in divorces or in “buying out” one party’s interest in a property while simultaneously removing the exiting spouse from the mortgage.
Q: How would an owelty lien work?
A: Here’s an example: Joan and Mike are going through a divorce. They own a home together with a mortgage. Their home is valued at $500,000 and the couple currently owe $300,000. Let’s assume they are splitting the equity 50/50 (or $100,000 each). Their divorce decree must specify the owelty and the owelty lien must be recorded. Joan would then refinance the property at $400,000: the $300,000 owed on the mortgage in addition to Mike’s $100,000 owelty lien. The end result is Mike gets his $100,000 and Joan is the full owner of the home. Mike is no longer on the mortgage nor the deed.
Q: Can’t I just do a “cash out” refinance or Texas Home Equity Loan to get the money/equity?
A: Without an owelty lien, the parties would be limited to only cashing in on equity up to 80% of the value of the property under Texas Equity laws. The owelty lien allows the parties to recoup their equity up to 95% of the property’s value. This also allows the refinancing spouse to obtain a regular refinance. That is very important because it affords the borrower lower rates and better terms.
Contact Richard Woodward, Your Certified Divorce Lending Specialist for assistance today.
If you would like to learn more or explore how an owelty might work for you, contact us online or by phone at (214) 945-1066.