I am in the process of a divorce in New Jersey. I am trying to obtain a small mortgage to buy a foreclosed property using my money only, not marital money. My lender is requesting my spouse's signature on the good faith estimate of closing costs. What would happen if I signed her name. Is this legal to require this signature, or just the bank's rule?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Sounds like there is some confusion as to what is being requested from the bank.
Even if married, you have a right to purchase a property, obtain mortgage financing, and have your name solely on the deed and all documents, and keep your spouse out ot it.
Whether or not your spouse would be entitled to that property upon divorce is based upon rules of law irrelevant to who actually owns the property - in that a Court could order that 1/2 of property obtained during a marriage is owed to the ex-spouse even if never in that spouse's name .
But from the mortgage company's perspective, they can't make a spouse responsible for the mortgage debt just by virtue of marriage, and I don't know the bank's reason for requesting this information, or the need for it.
Because you are still married, if you intend to use this property as your primary residence, your spouse may have a marital interest in it, despite the fact that her name will neither appear on the deed or note. That does not necessarily mean a financial interest. I would need to meet with you to explain this nuance. Do not sign her name as that is forgery. Explain the circumstances to the bank and, if necessary, show them that the divorce proceeding has been commenced. If you have any further questions, please contact me at 732-663-1500.
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