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Customer Story: Refinancing After Divorce

When Roberta and her former husband divorced five years ago, they agreed that they would keep the family home until their son graduated from high school. Roberta and her son lived in the home until he moved on to college, but then Roberta's daughter and mother came to live with her. She decided that staying put was the best option, so Roberta went back to court to revise the divorce agreement.

That was the easy part. "I wanted to refinance and take cash out to buy out my husband, but he was very uncooperative. He demanded unnecessary forms and deliberately held up the process," says Roberta.

Refinancing could have been agony, but Roberta says that Debbie saved the day. "Debbie was our go between and really minimized tensions. She 'got it' and stayed on top of things so I didn't have to worry about them." Roberta jokes that Debbie was "kind of like a lawyer but a lot more accessible."

After the November 2010 refinancing, Debbie stayed in touch with Roberta. She kept an eye on Roberta's credit rating and mortgage interest rates so they could leap at a great refinancing deal when the time was right. In April 2012, Roberta refinanced again.

Roberta says she is extremely grateful for Debbie's expertise and support. "Debbie is a person you can rely on. She is down-to-earth, efficient and just a tremendous help," she comments.

Debbie is grateful for the kind words but feels that she is just doing her job. According to Debbie, "Westchester Mortgage is here to help people get the mortgage products that they need and we'll do whatever legwork is necessary to make that happen."

May's Home Value Improver

Hot Home Colors

A new coat of paint or a pop of color on accessories is a quick way to brighten your home this spring and summer. Pantone, the global authority on color, says these are the hottest hues for the season:

Tangerine Orange: Make a statement with a bold pop of tangerine, the official Pantone color for 2012. Painting a single wall in tangerine is eye-catching, modern and a little courageous. Add touches of the hue through accessories such as throw pillows and dishware is a safer take on the trend.

Kelly Green: Embrace the joy of grass that's finally green and plants coming up in the garden with Kelly green accents in your home.

Yellow: What color is more cheerful than yellow? A yellow end table, tablecloth or coat of paint will match the sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Blue-greens: These ocean-like colors promise to be popular for spring and summer. Whether you choose to feature just blue, just green or a mix of the two, they'll bring a calming, beautiful look to your home.

Pastels: Just as in fashion, pastels are everywhere this spring. Paint a wall, room or piece of furniture in lilac, pale pink or sunny yellow to banish all memories of winter. For an edgier take on the trend, pair delicate pastels with black or gray.

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Westchester Mortgage

May 2012

Separation and divorce are filled with all kinds of emotional and financial minefields. One of the biggest is the ownership - and financial responsibility - of the family home. I've helped many clients refinance mortgages or buy out ex-spouses during or after divorces and would like to share a few bits of key information:

— Always remember that you and your former partner are both responsible for mortgage payments if you are both on the note. If a payment is late, your credit rating will take a hit no matter who is supposed to be actually making the payment.
— The most common way to remove a spouse from a mortgage note is to sell or refinance the home. Refinancing is most popular if one of you wants to stay in the home and can demonstrate that you can afford the payments.
— Some mortgage lenders will consider a release of liability to remove a person from the mortgage. If a release is an option, you will need to be prepared to pay fees and fulfill qualification requirements comparable to a refinancing.
— Many lenders require the final divorce decree for mortgage approval. A separation agreement is often no longer sufficient.

A customer graciously shared her refinancing story for this issue of the newsletter. We hope her experiences will help you as you navigate through a challenging period in your life. As always, please give me a call if I can answer any questions!

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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