Monday, February 28, 2011

Can I Keep Husband Off House Title and Deed?

Cluster of question words in greyscale

Q: I am legally married but my husband and I have not lived together since 8-09. My husband has two mortgages solely in his name with me on the title since both pieces of property were purchased during earlier in the marriage. There are no other mortgages in my name. Can I apply for a mortgage on my own and not show him on the title or deed? – Anonymous

A: In most cases in the state of North Carolina a spouse has at least 1/3 marital interest in real estate. So, yes you can buy property and keep him off the mortgage and even the deed; but he still has 1/3 ownership in it and you cannot sell it without his consent. Likewise, he has to have your consent to sell the property he has. If you have a separation agreement that specifically addresses the disposition of real estate, then it is possible for a spouse not to have this claim. I’d see attorney about that.

Eileen Covington is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Charlotte, NC.

A:Yes, although you are still married, you can apply for a mortgage on your own. However, you would have to have a quitclaim deed from your husband agreeing that the property you purchase would be your sole and separate property. So, he would be aware of this purchase. Also, you do not state if you still file jointly for your income taxes.

Lesslie Giacobbi is a Realtor with Seven Gables Real Estate in Anaheim Hills, CA.

A: That all depends on the type of loan you are looking to get as well as the type of property you’re looking to purchase. I’d start off by talking with a couple of lenders about your situation, and then ask your Realtor about what might be involved with foreclosures/short sales/regular resales in your current situation.

Another potentially huge factor is how amicable your relationship with your husband is – he may need to sign some of the paperwork in order for it to go through – and if he’s not willing to do that, it could throw a wrench in the works.

Josh Hanoud is a Realtor with Hernando Luxury Properties in Spring Hill, FL.

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