You need ex-spouse's consent to refinance


September 04, 2005

Dear Mr. Azrael:

In 1999, before I was married, I purchased a home. After a year of living on my own, I married. My husband moved in, and the next year, I quit work to stay home with the kids.

Since my husband was the only one with an income, when we refinanced, I subsequently had to add his name to the mortgage.

We are now separated and I would very much like to change the mortgage back over to my name. The minute we parted, he paid nothing toward the house.

How do I go about this without having to refinance?

Dear Reader:

Adding your husband's name to the mortgage did not affect title to the property. As long as the deed is in your name alone, you can sell, convey and mortgage the home without your husband's consent. By signing the mortgage, your husband became jointly and severally with you liable for the mortgage debt.

You have a more serious problem if you added your husband's name to the deed. In that case, he is a co-owner of the property. You would need his signature on a deed conveying the home to your name alone.

You cannot refinance the mortgage without his consent.

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