Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Arizona

Mortgage and Deeds

A secured a mortgage, qualifying by myself on a house. Three months later, I added my girlfriend only to the deed. Now we have split up and I want to sell the house. Since she was never on the loan, can I sell it without her permission? How does signing a deed to the house differ from being the borrower? Was it legal to add someone to the deed of a house without the mortgage company's permission?

Asked on 6/23/02, 6:59 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gloria Meyer Meyer Law Office

Re: Mortgage and Deeds

People come to my office with this problem quite often. By adding your girlfriend to the deed you have given her an ownership interest in the house, and you will need her permission, (or a court order), to sell.

It is legal to add another person to the deed without the mortgage company's persmission. The mortgage is a contract between you and the lender wherein you agreed to repay the money you borrowed to buy the house, and the house is security for the loan. Your girlfriend did not borrow the money, did not sign the mortgage, and did not agree to repay, so the obligation is yours alone.

The mortgage company does not care if your girlfriend has been added to the deed. They will hold you responsible for the mortgage payments, and if you sell the house, the mortgage will be paid from the proceeds. When you sell the house, your girlfriend is entitled to share whatever proceeds are left over after the mortgage is paid off. The easy remedy is to have your girlfriend to deed her interest back to you before you sell.

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Answered on 6/24/02, 10:36 am

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