Legal Question in Real Estate Law in New Jersey

If my wife is not on the mortgage note but is on the title, if I die, will she have to get a note of her own or can she just continue payments on the original mortgage note.

Asked on 9/10/13, 6:20 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Keith Singer Keith A. Singer, Attorney At Law

Banks usually require the spouse to sign on the mortgage at closing for this reason. It is possible that the facts presented are not true; however if your wife is not on either the mortgage or the note, she may not be responsible for paying the mortgage upon your death, she will be the 100% owner of the property as this is a tenancy by the entirety in NJ . I would advise you to take out a life insurance policy on your life with your wife as beneficiary payable in an amount sufficient to pay off the balance of the mortgage upon your death. It is possible that there is information to which I am not privy thus this cannot be construed as legal advice. You may call my office for a complimentary consultation. Best regards, Keith A. Singer, Esq. 732-749-3700

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Answered on 9/11/13, 6:55 am

Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

While I generally agree with Keith, the difficulty you face is if the mortgage is not paid after your death, the bank can foreclose, which indirectly makes your wife resonsible to pay it. Facts are missing, such as whose name(s) were on the Deed when the mortgage was taken? If your wife was on the Deed then, why did the bank not have her sign the mortgage? If you have insufficient other assets to cover the mortgage, but your wife has sufficient income to continue the mortgage, the bank may allow her to continue the payments. Aside from life insurance, you might want to reconsider refinancing the current mortgage (rate comparison may make this a viable option) and placing her on the new one, so she is guaranteed it will continue if you die. Another option, if you have this concern, is that you may want to just give a new note to replace the present one, with your wife named on it also. These are optional business decisions which you may want to discuss with a professional before making a choice.

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Answered on 10/10/13, 7:58 am

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