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Elizabeth Weintraub

What You Should Know About Property Deeds

By February 9, 2007

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Nobody frames property deeds and hangs them on a wall. In fact, if you asked most home owners where they kept their warranty deed or grant deed, they'd probably look at you funny, like maybe you're the only person on the face of the Earth who hasn't heard the joke about why American Idol is so popular. (Answer: Because it has a commercial for 24.) The truth is, nobody even thinks about property deeds until they need to find a deed or sign a deed.

And when would that be, you ask? How about when you want to change the title on your house? When I married, I called my local title company and asked them to draw up a new deed reflecting my married name. I was charged $25, which included the notary fee, even though the going rate was $125. I got the break on price because I argued it took 3 minutes to draw up a deed and offered to record it myself. But why would I change title? Because then the tax bills would come in my married name, no other reason, because it's certainly not legally required.

I'm confident, however, that you will have better reasons to learn more about property deeds such as warranty deeds, grant deeds or quitclaim deeds than simply wanting to see property tax bills printed with a different name.

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At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.


June 8, 2008 at 2:19 pm
(1) walter jackson says:

When transfering a quit deed over to your spouse, is she also libel for the mortgage payments. Or is this a separate issue.

June 8, 2008 at 2:35 pm
(2) homebuying says:

Until both names are removed from the mortgage, both remain on the mortgage and liability is shared. However, if you no longer own the home, it has been argued that you are no longer responsible for the mortgage. In the past, some creditors have accepted a copy of the title transfer as proof when considering credit for the debtor no longer in title. But it would be better for both parties in the long run if the person in title refinances the existing loan, which will remove the other party from liability. For more information, seek a knowledgeable real estate lawyer.

September 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm
(3) june allen says:

my ex. husband quick claimed the house to me. but im not on the mortgage. can he change his mind and sell the house? what if any thing can i do to assure that i keep the house? Im responsible for the mortgage.

September 27, 2008 at 11:33 pm
(4) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Not if you recorded the quit claim deed in the public records. Did you record it?

November 26, 2008 at 2:39 pm
(5) chris says:

Husband purchase home, on the Warranty deed, his name alone is listed, but does not state he is married. On mortgage papers, again his name is listed, but does state that he is married. This is in Minnesota, when it comes time to sell, will the buyer realized that the wife needs to also sign? If wife did not sign, what could happen?

November 26, 2008 at 2:54 pm
(6) homebuying says:

You should speak with a lawyer because the wife most likely has a vested, if unrecorded, interest in the home. If the home is sold, a title company would ask for the wife to sign a quitclaim deed or it would not issue title insurance. If there is no title insurance for the buyer’s lender, that lender won’t close.

On the other hand, if a buyer paid cash for the home and did not purchase title insurance, the buyer could be purchasing a home with a cloud on the title.

November 29, 2008 at 2:51 am
(7) Robin says:

Divorcing in AZ. Husband only on mortgage. Both Husband & Wife on Title/Warranty Deed. Husband wants to foreclose/short sale. Wife doesn’t. Payments current. House upside down 50K. Can mortgage company come after Wife if there is a foreclosure/short sale? Can wife’s credit be damaged? Can Wife be liable for deficiency to lender or for tax purposes to IRS? Please help.

November 29, 2008 at 11:21 am
(8) homebuying says:

I don’t know Arizona law, and even if I did, I couldn’t give you legal advice because I am not licensed to dispense legal advice. You really need to talk to a lawyer. I can say that it is unlikely you would be held responsible for a debt that you did not incur, but your divorce lawyer should be able to properly advise you and perhaps will suggest recording a quitclaim deed to your husband to remove any interest you may have acquired in the home.

February 5, 2009 at 9:07 am
(9) Chrissy D. says:

If a husband and wife are on the deed and mortgage and they have a traditional will, willing everything to the other upon death, what can they do to assure that the ones wishes are absolutely granted.

One is worried that if they pass before the other, that they will not provide a equal split of the estate to all of the children.

April 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm
(10) ann longo says:

my husband passed away last year. I made out a quitclaim deed. me as the grantor leaving my two boys as the grantee after i pass away. I was told Ithey would have to pay a 40 percent tax if this is not made out by a lawyer. is this true. and if so when soud I regester the form

April 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm
(11) homebuying says:

It might not be the tax to file that people are warning you about, it may be the tax basis of the home that is transferred. You should not arbitrarily record deeds without talking to a lawyer about the tax consequences. Some people set up living trusts to avoid this tax.

April 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm
(12) Teri says:

My dad has a prenup with his wife of 6 years. listing his house as his property. Our house is in his name only (from before marriage) We are adding my name as joint tenant, what role, if any does she have in this procedure?

April 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm
(13) homebuying says:

Prenups are often subject to interpretation. You may want to ask his wife for a quitclaim deed and get legal advice as I can’t give you legal advice.

May 22, 2009 at 3:34 am
(14) dolores says:

I bought a condo, and paid the taxes for it and a garage that came with it at the same time. I also got a letter saying both were in good condition and paid all fees for the garage. when I got the deed there was no mention of the garage, it was left off the deed. what can I do?

May 22, 2009 at 3:31 pm
(15) Katherine says:

How long from date of signatures does one have to record a quitclaim deed in public records?

May 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(16) homebuying says:

You should talk to the title company to see if the garage was included.

July 28, 2009 at 10:45 pm
(17) Robin says:

Couple has been living together for 17 years
Man wants to end the relationship, her name is on the deed but his name is on the mortage and he has been making full payments,how do you get her name off is she is not willing to take her name off the deed or move from the house until it is sold

August 6, 2009 at 5:55 am
(18) Ally says:

My brohter bought a house in CA a few yrs ago with just his name on the title (grant deed). Now he wants to add my name to the house title so he drafted a new grant deed (indicating a new owner addition) + a prelimentary change of ownership (gift with no montary exchange). But we have a question on Pre. Change of Ownership form *Part I Transfer Information F. Did this transfer result in the creation of a joint tenancy in which the seller (transferor) remains as one of the joint tenants?* Should we mark yes or no? What does *yes* mean & what does *no* mean? Should anything be marked as *yes* on this *Transfer* section?

Please kindly advise. Thank you!

August 6, 2009 at 9:05 am
(19) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should never try to prepare a legal document yourself. Ask a title company or a lawyer to do it for you.

August 6, 2009 at 11:54 am
(20) Ally says:

Thank you for the prompt reply.

I am sorry hat I did not word it correctly last time. We did have an escrow company do the paperwork for us, however, we just want to double check the check mark on this section since some of our friends/relatives did the exactly same thing before with other professionals and their documents were marked slightly different on this *Transfer* section.

We would greatly appreciate it if you can clear this up for us.

Thanky you.

August 6, 2009 at 11:58 am
(21) Ally says:

Thank you for he prompt reply.

I am sorry that I did word my question correcly last time. We did have an escow company do the paperwork for us, however, we just want to double check the check mark on this *Transfer* section since some of our relatives/friends did exactly the same thing before and their documents were marke differenly in this section.

We suld greatly appreciate if you can clarify this for us.

Thank you.

August 11, 2009 at 9:08 pm
(22) sweetpea says:

I would like to know in the State Of Florida does a husband have the right to claim any part of my property that I purchased from my Father due to his age it was to be inheritance but he sold it to me.
To keep from having to pay any taxes his self.
But now I am having trouble in this marriage I want to sell this property and have the money to purchase a place to live I have 2 children my property has a house but it needs to be refurbished

August 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm
(23) Ann says:

If my husband and I divorce and my name is not listed on the deed or mortgage(we bought it a year before we married) am I entitled to anything?My name is on every mortgage payment.

August 24, 2009 at 7:55 pm
(24) homebuying says:

It would depend on your state law and your lawyer’s advice. In community property states such as California, something as simple as co-mingling of funds may give a spouse an interest in a property without the spouse on title.

August 31, 2009 at 3:13 pm
(25) Greg says:

I am an out of state property owner and considering gift deeding a small property over to a local investor to remove a tenant and make repairs for city compliance. I understand that I will still be responsible for the mortgage. What other implications should I be aware of?

August 31, 2009 at 8:07 pm
(26) homebuying says:

Perhaps whether the investor records the quitclaim and whether the lender will call your loan due and payable because title transferred.

September 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm
(27) Kristie says:

Ex husband got house in divorce, both our names are on the mortgage, after 3 yrs he still has not removed my name. Will a quitdeed relieve me of financial responsibility?

September 5, 2009 at 3:03 pm
(28) homebuying says:

A quitclaim deed transfers title but it does not remove you from the mortgage. Why don’t you ask your husband to refinance the mortgage? And you could ask your lawyer to draw a quitclaim deed and record it.

September 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm
(29) vicki says:

HELP. Divorced 5 years ago…house is mine per divorce but ex never signed quit claim. Am remarried and want to refinance with both our names and get ex off mortgage and deed. Can’t find ex to get the quit claim signed..only have divorce giving me sole ownership of house. What do I do to get refinance and deed change?

September 8, 2009 at 2:20 pm
(30) vicki says:

meant to add that am trying to refinance now and get all of the names changed. Mortgage co said I have to get a “certified” property sale contract. Who certifies this and how do I get that? Where do I get it certified if I get the contract signed? They said NOT by a notary…so who?

September 8, 2009 at 3:28 pm
(31) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I have never heard of a certified property contract, so can’t help you there. As for the title problem, you may need to hire a lawyer to initiate a “quiet title” action. The lawyer who handled your divorce probably should have received a quitclaim or interspousal deed from your ex-husband at that time.

September 13, 2009 at 10:04 pm
(32) Kathleen S. says:

I own a new home and recently married. Would like to put my husband’s name on the deed so that we can refinance. What is the waiting period from when you ad a spouse to the deed and when can you refinance?

September 13, 2009 at 10:14 pm
(33) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You can most likely add your husband at any time but to refinance, you have to have equity. If you have equity, then you can refi right away and add your husband.

October 13, 2009 at 11:58 pm
(34) Linda says:

My husband and I, in our 60s, are planning to get a first time home. I am not employed. What are the financial liabilities and benefits to me if I out live him and end up with a lot of mortgage to pay?
Also, would my signing or not signing the mortgage have effect on this?

October 14, 2009 at 8:11 am
(35) homebuying says:

Perhaps you may want to take out an insurance policy on your husband, naming you as the beneficiary? You might want to ask your insurance agent this question.

Whether you sign the mortgage has no bearing on the fact that it will be secured to the house you buy and doesn’t vanish just because a person dies. The money is still owed to the bank. If you can sell the home for enough, you may be able to pay off the mortgage.

October 22, 2009 at 9:00 am
(36) linda says:

transferring a piece of property from me to my trust….do i need to do quitclaim deed or a warranty deed?

October 22, 2009 at 9:31 am
(37) homebuying says:

Generally speaking, a warranty deed transfers title and a quitclaim transfers an acquired interest, but each state has different laws. You should ask a title company or a real estate lawyer to make sure you comply with the laws of your state. Both types of deeds do essentially the same thing.

November 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm
(38) sandra says:

I co-sign with my sister so she can get the loan for property. I want to quitclaim it over to her, I want no part of it, but I don’t want to be legally responsible. If I quitclaim it am I still responsible for the mortgage and any law suit if someone try to sue?

November 23, 2009 at 10:45 pm
(39) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Most likely, yes, because your name is still on the mortgage. Perhaps your sister can refinance, which would remove your name.

January 3, 2010 at 9:10 am
(40) Lynette says:

I live in Ohio. After 34 years, I helped my husband in buying out his mother from farming business(his father died). He worked all his life on farm and I had to work outside of home due to his low income on farm. My job of $60K/year helped him get approved to buy his mother out. However, his family didn’t want my name on deed, and he agreed. I am on all the loans to the bank. So I own no assets after 34 years of marriage and all debt. Am I liable for this debt? Am I entitled to any assets. In ohio.

January 3, 2010 at 9:51 am
(41) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Ohio has different laws than California, so I have no idea, honestly, if you are entitled to any of the assets. Does your husband have a will? And what’s to prevent him from adding your name to the title now that the transaction has closed? You should talk to a lawyer, but you can also call a title company’s customer service department and ask them about it.

January 11, 2010 at 3:29 am
(42) ks says:

if a house is jointly owned by 2 brothers, and they live in that house with their families, and after about a year, one of the brothers, due to recurrent family tensions/clashes, is forced to move out with his family to another rental accomodation, without any written deed or MoU in place, what are the implications of this on the one who has moved out ?

January 11, 2010 at 8:32 am
(43) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Both brothers would remain on title, regardless of which is in possession. If one brother wanted to file a legal action against the other, he would have to seek legal advice.

January 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm
(44) sandra says:

From California: My husband has agreed to quit claim our house to me. I hope to fill out the online forms, record the quit claim, then talk to a title company about getting only my name on the deed, and then if possible take his name off the mortgage (only his name is on the mortgage and I am paying it myself.) Does that cover all bases? How do I get his name off the mortgage?

January 16, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(45) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

By recording the quitclaim, you are transferring title to yourself. You don’t need to involve the title company unless you don’t want to go to the courthouse to record it.

The only way to get your husband off the mortgage is to pay off that mortgage or ask the mortgage lender if it will let you assume the mortgage. But the mortgage lender probably won’t. It has little incentive. You’d most likely have to refinance.

January 18, 2010 at 10:58 am
(46) Bruce says:

I recently file chapter 13 six months ago and i am foreclosing on my house under my name. My mother is going to purchase a house with cash and i wanted to know if there was any issue of me being on the title? This is so i can get homestead. Would me being on the title make any issues with my bankrupcy?

January 18, 2010 at 11:02 am
(47) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should ask your bankruptcy lawyer that question. I would imagine that all of your assets would need to be disclosed to the court. If you buy a home, that’s an asset, depending on equity. But I can’t give you legal advice.

February 15, 2010 at 11:35 am
(48) Raquel Taylor says:

Currently in the process of purchasing a new homw in Florida. Is it true that my name can be on the mortage even though, my husbands name is the only name on the contract because it’s thru his credit and not mine?

February 15, 2010 at 12:04 pm
(49) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

No, that is not true.

March 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm
(50) pea says:

divorced in nc, ex hubby and i bought house together, both on deed, but not on loan. he disapeared after seperation. what legally can i do? i cant affored the payments, but want to keep it?

March 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm
(51) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Was there a quitclaim deed signed at the time of your divorce but perhaps never recorded? You might want to check with your lawyer. Usually title transfers are handled at that time.

As for your payment problem, I’d suggest calling your lender to find out if you qualify for a loan modification.

April 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm
(52) Curt says:

My wife and I are buying a home. My sister is lending us money for the down payment. She wants to put her name on the deed. Her husband does not know. If she were to divorce her husband, would he have any legal recourse on stake in our property because her name is on the deed?

April 18, 2010 at 9:08 pm
(53) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The only way I would put my own married sister on a deed with me would be if her husband handed me a quitclaim deed.

April 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm
(54) Chasity says:

My husband is on the quit claim deed but he is not on the mortgage. If I file bankruptcy on the house will he be held responsible for that mortgage?

April 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm
(55) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hi Chasity: Generally, the only individuals responsible for the mortgage are those whose names are on the mortgage.

May 14, 2010 at 9:10 pm
(56) sharae says:

If i name some one to pay my property taxes if im not able to for any reason does that mean the property is automatically his/her

May 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm
(57) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

No. That’s the short and sweet of it.

May 26, 2010 at 8:59 pm
(58) Elizabeth says:

My husband and I have been married for 6 years. The house was paid off last year, but the deed is still in his deceased ex-wife’s name and his only. He has 2 children by that marriage. What are my rights if something should happen to him? We live in Virginia.

May 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm
(59) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t believe that Virginia is a community property state. You’d need to check with a lawyer but I’m betting you would need to be on title to have a claim.

May 31, 2010 at 1:52 am
(60) Logan says:

I am wanting to buy a home, but can’t get approved for the mortgage so my Grandfather says he will buy it and then we can put my name on the deed. My question is if he dies then I am told that the house will then just be put under my name and I will continue with the payments, but is there any taxes that his estate will encounter because of this or does it just go to me free and clear without additional money worries?


May 31, 2010 at 10:25 am
(61) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It would depend on whether the deed was delivered and recorded prior to your grandfather’s death. Ordinarily, once a deed has been recorded, title has been transferred and the property no longer would belong to your grandfather.

Now, whether the lender would call the loan is another story.

June 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm
(62) Rebekkah says:

we have purchased land (no house) from family. We had a quick deed done. We have title insurance and title search done. There was a mortage that was released before we titled it. Im not for sure how long the mortage was on there, but my question is…

we have a neighbor that has a quick deed title, that said it own part of the land we bought… there are a few things i don’t understand..

his deed we know for a fact was recored wrong…
and there was a mortage on this tract …
who can that be?

who’s property is it? there deed will be dated before mine? but its recorded wrong….

ours is recored right with assessers and we have paid the taxes on it?

..also we are getting a house put on it… it there is anything on that property… the mortage company would find it …??

what do you think…

June 6, 2010 at 10:14 pm
(63) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I think since you have title insurance you should bring this matter to the attention of your title company.

June 12, 2010 at 10:15 am
(64) Lisa says:

Husband purchased a second home during our marriage, he co-purchased with my daughter (from previous marriage). My name is not on the deed, only his and my daughters. Our Property Settlement Agreement states the house must be put on the market on or before April 2, 2012. We are in the process of a divorce. My lawyer tells me I own 1/2 of his 1/2 ownership in that house because the house was purchased when we were married. My question, since my daught and I own 3/4 of ownership in the house and he only 1/4, since we want the home sold now, and don’t want to wait can we force him to sell? Our state is Virginia.

June 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(65) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You don’t own 1/4 of that house because your name is not on the title. It sounds like you have an “interest” in your husband’s property. Generally, you can’t force a person to sell without taking that person to court and presenting just cause. You might want to ask your lawyer if he can move up that date to sell as it’s what? 2 years from now?

June 20, 2010 at 10:15 pm
(66) marlene says:

If the mortgage is in your parents name and the deed in your name . Can the parents change the deed back to there name with out my signature?

June 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm
(67) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Only the individual in title can sign and record a deed to change the name on title.

June 21, 2010 at 11:16 am
(68) Lori says:

My parents bought a trailer with my sister 5 years ago. They have since became disabled and my sister had them move in with her 3 years ago. They have been making the trailer pmt and rental for 3 years, while waiting for the house to sell, with no luck. They cannot afford to continue making pmts due to their depleted savings account. If my sister quitclaimed the house to my parents and they short sold the home, would my sisters credit be affected?

June 21, 2010 at 11:23 am
(69) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The individuals whose names are on the loan would be affected by the short sale.

June 25, 2010 at 7:06 pm
(70) Pat Palmer says:

IF (in Texas) a warranty deed is signed and notarized, but then the seller of the property dies before it is recorded, is the property transfer still valid?
My dad has property he owned with my mom before my mom died. He later remarried and now has cancer. He would like to transfer the property to my step mother and so we filled out a waranty deed, but didn’t know what happens if he dies before it is filed. Right now a lawyer is trying to draft a more current will because the last one written was before my mom died, so there is only an older will. I just didn’t know if this would settle things or if my sister and I (neither one minors) need to sign an affadavit of heirship or what. Thank you,

June 25, 2010 at 7:14 pm
(71) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I hate to say this, but Texas has real estate laws not applicable anywhere else in the country, so I have no idea. You’d have to ask a lawyer in Texas that question.

June 30, 2010 at 5:46 pm
(72) Marvin says:

My wife and i have property that we have purchased and inherited over the past 45 years, some is in both our names–some are individually deeded to either my wife or I (individually). In our wills, we would like to leave the majority of our property entirely to our only daughter, and the the rest, (our primary residence) to our daughter with a lifetime right retained for the surviving spouse. Is there an easy way we can we make this happen? I guess I’m confused about “willing” property that is not in the name of the deceased–and not having the ability to deed property to one or the other of us, based on not knowing who may pass first. Thank you in advance for your time…

June 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm
(73) homebuying says:

In California, for example, if you both hold title to all the properties as joint tenants, if one of you died, title would revert to the other. If both of your wills gave any property you owned to your daughter, that would probably do the trick. But there may be more tax advantages to a Living Trust, so I would suggest you talk with a lawyer about this because I am not licensed to give you legal advice.

July 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm
(74) Tab says:

my mother is selling land and house through a Land contract. If she dies before buyer has paid it off is it still binding and legal or will they lose the house? There is still money owed on the house through a finance co.. She is the only one listed on the deed. She wants me to be listed on the deed as well to insure that the buyers still recieve the property if something happens to her because there are other siblings who would not cooperate. Is it possible to add someone to a deed if there is money owed on property?

July 10, 2010 at 6:19 pm
(75) in montauk says:

My parents died and my brother and I have the house, no mortgage. The estate is in “estate of” my mother’s name and that’s how the property taxes are paid. We need to change the property tax situation so that my brother’s and my names are on it (he’s disabled and would be entitled to a property tax discount). The county clerk’s office said we need to draw up a new deed. I think the old one is still in our parents’ name. How do we do that?

July 10, 2010 at 6:23 pm
(76) homebuying says:

Ask a title company to help you. They generally charge less than a lawyer.

July 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm
(77) bj says:

If my grandfather only had an property-land deed in two of his kids name which he had with his wife names only on the deed and my mother and my uncle who where born by my grandmother names arent and my grandfather died 45 some odd years ago and my uncle and aunt died about 10 years ago and know my cousin want give us any of the land that my uncle and aunt had is there any way we could possibly go to court to get it resolved.

July 28, 2010 at 8:53 am
(78) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If both kids are on the deed, your cousin can’t take away your property.

August 8, 2010 at 7:38 am
(79) Mary O. says:

My parents passed away, leaving a home equally shared by their 4 children. They said they deeded the house so that if any of us dies, that share goes to the remaining children. If one of these children are married, does the surviving spouse have any claim?

August 8, 2010 at 9:19 am
(80) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hard to say without knowing the vesting. A surviving spouse can always make a claim but whether that claim would be upheld by the court depends on state law and other court cases.

August 11, 2010 at 12:45 am
(81) rlr3184 says:

If in the warranty deed if there are two individuals that indicate Husband and Wife and they are not married is this document valid?

August 11, 2010 at 8:15 am
(82) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

That’s a good question! Common sense would say the individuals own the property but just not as husband and wife. But that’s a question for a lawyer or title officer to answer.

August 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm
(83) Frances says:

My father was in his late 90ies and for social service purposes my sister drew up a deed to the house and land. She deeded the property to herself and I’m Positive that she forged my father’s name and paid off the notery. Can a person prepare a deed to themself in north carolina? What stepts can I take to solve this problem?

August 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm
(84) homebuying says:

You may need a lawyer to straighten out this mess. There are crooks everywhere, and sometimes you find them within your own family.

September 6, 2010 at 9:21 am
(85) Patricia says:

My stepmother is going to help me buy a house. If we buy a house together with her putting up part of the money, can she then quitclaim the house to me without tax problems for me?

September 6, 2010 at 9:23 am
(86) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

She could be creating tax problems for herself and both of you should get tax advice from a qualified tax accountant / CPA.

September 23, 2010 at 11:16 am
(87) newlywed says:

Just recently got married. We live in my husband’s house. We have a prenup signing my rights away to his house. Now he wants to add me to the mortgage/deed which will give us a better finance rate. How does this affect the prenup? Isn’t it completely moot that my name is on the deed since the prenup says I waived my rights? Will this hurt me if we divorce and I need to get a mortgage of my own?

September 23, 2010 at 11:31 am
(88) homebuying says:

You should ask a lawyer because it’s possible that by going on title you are gaining an interest in the home that could override a previous agreement to the contrary. I can’t give you legal advice. Also, once your name is on the mortgage, it stays there until it is paid off, which means if your husband defaults, you might be responsible for the mortgage, even if your name was not on the deed.

September 29, 2010 at 5:34 pm
(89) Separate in Illinois says:

My husband refinanced our home and I had my name removed from the mortgage but not the title. If he loses the home can I be held liable for anything including taxes.

October 4, 2010 at 9:26 am
(90) homebuying says:

You should check with a lawyer because I’m thinking you might have this backwards. You might be removed from the title but not from the mortgage. Since your husband has refinanced and, if indeed, you are not noted on the mortgage and did not sign any mortgage documents, what reason is there to keep you on the title? That doesn’t make sense.

October 23, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(91) KAREN J says:


October 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm
(92) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You can refinance.

October 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm
(93) Looking to get married. says:

Iím looking to get married. Before I met my fiancť, she purchased a home that is upside down by about 150%; as well as, attained student loans that average about 50 thousand dollars. My name isnít on any of the aforementioned debts

When we marry, will I be liable for any of those debts she attained before we got married? Will I be liable for any of those debts if we divorce or if she passes away? Is a prenuptial agreement necessary to protect me from those debts she attained before we got married?

October 26, 2010 at 12:44 pm
(94) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’ve heard of spouses accidentally acquiring a community property interest in an asset but never acquiring a non-affirmed debt. But it’s hard to say what laws in every state are and, even if I did know, I couldn’t tell you because I’m not a lawyer. Some states have pretty weird laws — Florida and Texas, to name two.

It might be a good idea to get a prenup drawn up, anyway.

October 31, 2010 at 12:24 pm
(95) Caylee says:

My friends Dad died suddenly and both their names are on the deed but the mortage only had his name, she kept sending mortage payments for a year after his death until someone told her she should stop and get her name on the mortsge (this is a condo) she also stopped paying HOAs based on this persons advice…anyhow I advised her to contact the mortage compamy send copy of death record and deed and asked to reevaluated the mortage but the only response she got was your name is not on the mortage therfore we will not discuss the matter with you, now the condo is going to foreclosure due to payments owed and the HOA management has pushed to speed up foreclosure to collect back HOAs and to rent it out to collect extra monies(this complex now has a receivership appointed by the courts)…how can she get anyone to listin to her….is there someplace in Orlando she can go and get advice, she is a single mother now and money is tight for her or she need a lawyer ????

October 31, 2010 at 4:38 pm
(96) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Your friend should not have stopped making the mortgage payments. At this point, it’s unlikely that she can stop the foreclosure unless she bring the back payments and delinquent HOA current — for accurate and low-cost legal advice, perhaps she should contact the Legal Society of the Orange County Bar in Orlando: http://www.legalaidocba.org/

November 4, 2010 at 11:48 am
(97) norine says:

If I put my mom on my deed to up the income needed to refinance for a little cash out ($25,000), are there tax consequences to her or me? And, once she is on the mortgage, can she quit claim the deed back to me. Thanks.

November 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm
(98) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Yes, there could very well be tax consequences in addition to legal consequences. You should contact an accountant before doing this.

November 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm
(99) Brian says:

My wifes father transferred deed to his home to my wife and her 2 sisters 5 years ago. I recently told my wife i will be filing for divorce. The next day she called to say i need to sign paperwork to transfer the deed back to her fathers name. Why would i need to be involved in this if my name is not on the deed?

Brian in PA

November 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm
(100) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Probably because you are married and, as such, could have acquired an interest in your wife’s assets. Typically, though, you would sign a quitclaim to your wife, not to her father.

November 9, 2010 at 6:55 pm
(101) Kathy Dubose says:

Is there any way to take over the mortgage on our house if it is in only my soon-to-be-ex-husband’s name? He wants out of the house and is willing to sign whatever paperwork is necessary. Round Rock, Texas

November 9, 2010 at 6:57 pm
(102) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Probably not, not without assuming the loan in writing. You should check with your lender. That doesn’t mean people don’t do it but before you take title “subject to,” check with a lawyer.

November 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm
(103) Mary says:

My father was married briefly to a woman in 1979. He ‘dollar-deeded’ her onto the house and then they divorced in 1982. She relinquished all rights to property in the divorce decree, of which I have a copy. In 1989, my father had a will made making me the sole beneficiary of the house upon his death. He died in 1990. I finished paying off the house in 2003 and I finally filed the will and received the Letters of Testamentary in 2009. I want to file an updated deed reflecting my ownership of the house but am confused over the ex-wife’s name on the deed. He never did a quitclaim deed or anything for that matter, but he did have the will. What do you suggest? Thank you.

November 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm
(104) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I suggest you get the ex-wife to sign a quitclaim deed to you or you may need to hire a lawyer. A title company can probably help you to prepare the deed, and it needs to be notarized and recorded.

November 22, 2010 at 6:13 am
(105) Sue White says:

My son and his neighbor both have a deed for the same .7 tenths of an acre. The property was sold twice. What should he do?
Sue White

November 22, 2010 at 8:36 am
(106) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

He should get copies of both deeds to determine which was recorded first and speak with the neighbor. He can get copies of the deeds at the courthouse or wherever your public records are kept. Depending on the results, he might be able to get an answer from customer service at the title company but he might also need to hire a lawyer.

November 24, 2010 at 10:24 am
(107) JOHN says:

a married couple has a mortgage on their home. The wife was sued in court and lost. In order to avoid judgment the wife had the property conveyed to husband only using a warranty deed. Can a warranty deed be used in PA. when there is a mortgage on the home and a judgment looming in the future. Wife & husband are on mortgage lien.

November 25, 2010 at 12:15 am
(108) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should speak with a lawyer. Your timing might be called into play. It could depend on when the judgment was issued vs. when the deed was recorded, all the way down to whether you should have recorded a quitclaim instead of a Warranty deed.

Typically, the mortgage doesn’t matter. It’s who owns the home.

November 27, 2010 at 8:14 pm
(109) Franny says:

I have bought a house from my Mother on a rent to own basis. I have paid 30,000 for this house and have done alot of major repairs. Not she has been putting me off on a deed for this place since last Febuary. I have all reciepts with balance owed & what paid. I am disabled and cannot afford a lawyer. What can I do?
Please some one help me.

November 27, 2010 at 8:18 pm
(110) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You might want to see if you can find a lawyer who will work with you pro bono. Try calling Legal Aid.

November 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm
(111) JO says:

I need to know when a person is entitled to farm land lease money.
I have property in my name alone. I signed an agreement in 2009 to give some of the farm land to my brother. In 2010 I signed the deeds. Now he wants land lease money for 2009 and 2010.

In the Settlement Agreement, he agreed not to ask for land lease or rent money. Is he entitled to land lease money for 2009 and 2010?

I say he did not have possessio of the land until the deed was signed in 2010. The Settlement Agreement is just a promise to give him land and not a co-owner ship.

What is the legal answer?

November 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm
(112) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Your brother can say whatever he wants and, for that matter, so can you, but until a lawyer reviews your paperwork, I’m afraid that nobody can give you an opinion. Well, you may get opinions, but if you want an opinion you can rely upon, a lawyer needs to provide it.

December 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm
(113) danny says:

Fist of all, thank you! your articles and comments are very helpful!
What are the general tax rates to be expected if grandparent was to transfer their property in CA to there grandchildren or children?

December 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm
(114) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Property taxes are about 1.25% of the sales price, give or take. As for taxation on the sale, that would depend on the grandparents’ basis in the property, and for that calculation, you’d need an accountant. Maybe you should look at setting up a Living Trust instead?

January 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm
(115) Cyndi says:

I own a house outright. I married 4 years ago and want to put my husband on the title now. We are having financial difficulties. If I wanted to file bankruptcy, would adding his name be looked at as fraud? Is there a waiting period after which it would not be? At this point we understand that the home is too valuable not to be sold if we were to file, so we’re not expecting to be able to file bankruptcy anyway.

January 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm
(116) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

What you should do is speak to a bankruptcy lawyer because many homeowners are entitled to keep their homes through a Chapter 7 or 13.

January 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm
(117) flm says:

OK….so the situation is my husband’s 91 year old grandfather has willed my husband the house he lives in upon his death. Since the will was written he has fallen and is in ill health. It is looking like he may have to be moved to an assisted living center. The great uncle has advised us to make all the changes necessary before we move him. He said we need to buy the house and have the deed changed so the state can not come after the house. He said we can buy the house for $100, it doesn’t matter, we just need to show the house was purchased. Is this true? How do we protect the property from being seized by the state for payment? Please help.

January 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm
(118) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should contact a lawyer in your state to determine how to avoid a claim from the state. Most people use a deed to transfer title, either a warranty deed or a grant deed, depending on the type used in your state. How much consideration is given as payment will also depend on your state law. So, please see a lawyer for advice.

January 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm
(119) Norma says:

I live in Texas, my husband passed away a couple of months a ago (no will). How do I remove his name from our mortgage loan so it could only have mine. I want to pay off the house and I want the deed/title just to say my name.

January 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm
(120) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am unfamiliar with the laws in Texas as they are quite different from other states, and even if I knew the law in Texas, I couldn’t tell you because I am prohibited from giving legal advice as a licensed real estate broker. I would need a law degree for that. However, I can tell you that removing your husband’s name from title is fairly easy and should probably entail recording a death certificate, providing you both held title as joint tenants. You should ask a title company to help you. Removing his name from the mortgage is probably impossible unless you refinance.

March 14, 2011 at 8:37 pm
(121) Larry says:

My sisters and I are in the processing settling our parents estate in Ohio. There is an apartment we want to sell and have a buyer. I am recently re-married (lost my wife unexpectedly) and before we were married we signed a prenup which we both believe in and support. The issue is the real estate agent says that my “current” wife must sign the purchasing agreement and deed in order to close the deal even though we have a prenup, the apartment is in a living trust and I don’t feel my wife should be signing documents for which she has no interest. Why should my wife be signing any documents ? Thank you,

March 14, 2011 at 8:44 pm
(122) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

What does a real estate agent know? The person who should be advising you on this would be your lawyer or the title company. I imagine the title company, in order to issue title insurance, might want a quitclaim deed or interspousal deed filed, which would remove any interest in the home your wife might acquire through marriage, but if I were you, I’d ask a lawyer.

March 20, 2011 at 7:26 pm
(123) K says:

In secruity of a loan, a quitclaim deed to a property was signed over to me and this was recorded. The loan was not paid – can I sell the property to get my money back and what if the property now has equity though at the time of the transaction it did not?

March 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm
(124) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You can probably sell it if there are no other loans secured to it and nobody else is in title to it. You should check with a title company.

March 27, 2011 at 6:34 am
(125) Grace says:

In 2006, my husband purchased a property in Mississippi, he is on the mortgage and I am not, but I’m on the title to the property. We were married at the time and my credit was in the toilet. Are relationships listed on the title…for example, would I be listed on the title as wife or spouse?? We’re no longer together and I’m trying to puchase a home out of state (CA). This property appeared in a public records search by my lender?? Can my relationship to him be removed from the title?? I’m not financially obligated on the mortgage, and don’t want to lose out on my home purchase..HELP….

March 27, 2011 at 10:36 am
(126) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Did a lawyer handle your divorce? How was the property negotiated at that time? Typically, real estate is divvied up in a divorce. You probably cannot simply quitclaim your interest to your ex-husband without his permission but only a lawyer can answer that question for you.

I do not believe that your California lender “found” this property on a “search,” though. Not to mention, your lender will require a copy of your divorce decree. Do you have that?

April 21, 2011 at 11:00 am
(127) KRIS JENSEN says:

Can you legally make a correction on a warranty deed. Like if they came to record it and the legal was incorrect can they mark out on deed and correct and then record?

April 21, 2011 at 11:29 am
(128) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You need to ask a lawyer in your state that question. Sometimes, other documents give certain individuals the right to change or correct mistakes in documents.

April 25, 2011 at 10:34 am
(129) Bullpens says:

I was looking through our county court records and can not find our deed under our current mortgage company that we have been with for nearly 10 years. Every other mortgage company we have been with is listed including refinancing but nothing is showing under our current lender. What do you think this mean?

April 25, 2011 at 11:05 am
(130) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Your deed is in the records. It doesn’t vanish. Are you talking about a trust deed? Assignment of trust deed? Maybe your lender sold the loan and is still servicing it but no longer owns it?

April 30, 2011 at 9:00 pm
(131) Wail says:

How To Short Sell Real Estate and my x not in the country and she is not welling to sign the deed or pay any money and she is not willing to come back to the US. What shold i do?

April 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm
(132) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You may have to let the home go to foreclosure then. I’m sorry. The ex needs to deed out or there will be a cloud on title and no title company will insure it. You could take her to court to try to force the sale, but if you could afford to do that, you probably would not be pursuing a short sale. Won’t the ex consider quitclaiming the home to you?

May 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm
(133) Lucy says:

When we were selling our house, a builder offered to take over the payments and upkeep of the house, and after a year he said the property could be transferred to his name due to him making the payments we ended up signing a warranty deed and paid a fee, does this mean it’s his now? He is not keeping up the payments and the mortgage is in our name, he has yet to tranfer like he said, can we take it back?

May 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm
(134) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It sounds like you were bamboozled. You need a lawyer. Banks don’t do what this guy said they do. The loan stays in your name until you refinance, which you can’t do because no longer own the home.

May 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm
(135) m gill says:

I am in the process of a divorce and want my husband to do a quit claim deed on the house and sign it over to me, of course he is taking his time with it. If my name is already on the deed for the house, is it neccessary for me to file a quitclaim with him?

May 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(136) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Only if you want to get him off title to the house.

June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm
(137) michelle says:

I have a friend that was common law married and they seperated three years ago and she is barely filing for a divorce but all they had jointly was the house and when she left three years ago we signed a warranty deed and filed it in court. my question is will she still have a part of my house?

June 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm
(138) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If she signed the deed and it was recorded, you should be in the clear. I don’t know if common law marriages are recognized by title companies or whether one person in that type of situation could cause a cloud on title. It doesn’t seem possible, but only a lawyer in your state could properly answer that question.

June 18, 2011 at 11:17 am
(139) Deede says:

Father has passed away. Will states all property to be divided between all children. Can house be deeded in all childrens names? One of us has lived in house for most of the time father has had the house and is keeping up the mortgage payment. Any requirements that all siblings will have to meet? Will the bank holding the mortgage go for this? Will the house have to be sold to abide by the will? Can one of the siblings by the house for what is still owed? This is in the state of Indiana. Would really appreciate your help with this matter as it is causing a big rift between all of us. Thank you

June 18, 2011 at 11:58 am
(140) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should speak with a probate lawyer in Indiana. Generally speaking, there is no limit on the number of people who can hold title to a property. The sales price needs to be agreed upon between all of you if you plan to sell or if one of you plans to buy it. If one sibling buys the home for the amount of the mortgage and the home is worth a lot more than the mortgage, the remaining siblings won’t receive their inheritance. They might feel cheated. If the home is worth much less than the mortgage, the sibling who wants to buy the home would be a fool to do so.

Ask a local real estate agent to prepare a CMA.

July 9, 2011 at 1:37 am
(141) Patrick says:

My mom deeded her house to me 10 yrs ago. She is very ill; if god forbid she passes, does her common law husband have rights to this house? Or is it leagally mine?

July 9, 2011 at 9:27 am
(142) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hard to say. I do not know the laws in your state, and I am not a lawyer, so even if I did know the laws I could not recite them to you.

Anybody can object to title for any reason and file a lawsuit. Do you think your mom’s boyfriend would file a lawsuit? And if he did, perhaps a judge would question why he waited 10 years to do it, and a statute of limitations may very well apply.

July 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm
(143) Ishan says:

I have a slightly complicated situation. Currently at present my name along with my parents names are part of the deed. I would like to replace my parents name and add my wife’s name on the deed. Is it possible? My parents are on baord since i am the one who always paid for the mortgage. In order to change the deed, would it tirgger gift tax or property transfer tax or any other tax consequences? Can it be done without going to the attorney?

July 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm
(144) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It can be done without an attorney but you should get legal assistance or a title company to help you. As to your tax consequences, you’ll need a tax accountant to answer that question — preferably an accountant who is intimately familiar with your personal taxes and your state laws.

July 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm
(145) Alisa Howard says:

I signed a quit claim deed over to my husband in 2008, but never filed it. I’m considering filing the deed, filing for divorce, then filing a Chapter 7 in 2013 (more than 5 years after signing the deed). Will the bankruptcy court go by the signature date or the filing date on the deed? I want to avoid them taking the house as my (2) children adult will need a place to live with my ex.

July 17, 2011 at 5:50 pm
(146) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should ask a bankruptcy lawyer that question. I can tell you that ordinarily a deed must be delivered. But if you still have the deed in your possession, it might not be considered delivered, in which case it would be the date it was recorded.

July 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm
(147) Mark says:

I purchased x wifes forclosed house. She wants me to sell it to her on a rent to own with 0 down and 0 balloon after 5 years. Can I transfer the title for $0 to her without complications?

July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm
(148) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You need legal and tax advice, not real estate advice on this. Generally speaking you need consideration for a transfer to be valid, and zero is not consideration. You could also face possible tax consequences.

July 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm
(149) Merry Alen says:

My huhusband refinance our home for 175,000.00 while we were separated and forclosed the house. Am I responsible for the debt? I live in California.

July 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm
(150) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Did you sign the note and trust deed? If you are on title, it is unlikely the bank made the loan to your husband without your signature. If you were not on title and did not sign a note and trust deed, then it is not your property or concern. But you might want to talk with a lawyer to make sure you are protected against any other debt accumulated by your husband.

July 31, 2011 at 3:02 am
(151) Sonia Mrquell says:

As I filed for divorce, my ex to be testified that he refindnced our home for $100,000.00 without my knowledge but the judge awarded me only $30,000.00 of it. Can I file a law suit to get the rest of it?

July 31, 2011 at 3:19 am
(152) Merry Alen says:

I am on the title but I was separted at the time when my ex to be refinance our house. I checked at the Los Angeles county Home title office, I found out that the document was not recorded. I wentto the Escrow company, it was closed. I checked at the California Security State Debra Bowen, I found out the company was desoved. I went to the bank that allowed my ex to refinanced the house, the bank was taken by Bank of America and Bank of America does not know anything ablut it. How do I reach to the bottom of this thing before I ended up with a lot of debt? Or wherenshould I go to get more information about this thing?

July 31, 2011 at 9:29 am
(153) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Sonia: It would appear that you would like to appeal the judge’s ruling, which means you would need to ask the lawyer who handled your divorce — or some other lawyer — how to do it.

July 31, 2011 at 9:32 am
(154) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Merry Alen: If there is no evidence or documentation that your ex refinanced your home, then he probably did not refinance it. It is very difficult to refinance a home with one signature when two or more people are on title. Call a title company to find out if a new loan is recorded against this home.

August 1, 2011 at 2:41 am
(155) Sonja Marquell says:

Since I live with a limited income, i got a Pro-Bono attorney and my attorney sided with my ex’s attorney and let everything go their way. I don’t think my attorney will be wlling to give me the documets that has my ex’s testimony. Do I have the right to request for the documents in order to appeal?

August 1, 2011 at 9:17 am
(156) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Sonja: This is not the place to ask legal questions about getting divorced because I am not a lawyer and cannot answer those questions. You need to speak with a lawyer. Maybe you can check with Legal Aid?

August 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm
(157) M. Neal says:

I just found out my deceased father who was unmarried purchased a house with a friend who was unmarried. The friend is presently living in the house. My father died in 1997; and his property went through probate. However this property was missed. My father died without a will and I’m the only child. My Dad’s name and the friend’s name are both on the the Deed. Do I now own half of this property?

August 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm
(158) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am not a probate lawyer so I can’t tell you. You should speak with a probate lawyer who can advise you on your state’s laws.

August 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(159) Sonja says:

I finally found the owner of the closed escrow office. She promosed to call me and agreed that there might be a fraud involvement betwen my ex and the escrow officer. Shall I cotinue to contact her?

August 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm
(160) Laura says:

My exhusband is claiming to want me removed from the title of a home we still own together. Mortgage is still in both names. We are in escrow to sell, I am worried that if he can remove me from title before the close, I will have not right to the proceeds from the house if if the divorce paperwork states that I get 50%. To complicate matters, my father has invested $25K in the house and is expected to receive payment at the sale of the house. I have him listed with the escrow company, but fear the ex will mess with that if I am removed from title.
Can I be removed without my knowledge in CA?

August 10, 2011 at 1:43 pm
(161) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Is he planning to forge your name? All parties on a deed must sign to sell, providing they are alive. But this is not legal advice. You should ask your lawyer this question.

August 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm
(162) Laura says:

Thank you for the support. I just need to know that he can not just take me off the title without needing my signature. Shouldn’t that need to be notarized?

August 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm
(163) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m guessing there is a reason he is your ex. Far as I know, all deeds must be notarized, but I am not a lawyer and can’t advise you. You should ask your real estate agent this question.

August 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm
(164) Lee Smith says:

Question – My sister’s home, the mortgage and deed are in her husband’s name and inlaws. The mortgage is almost paid for. How do they go about adding her name to the deed.

August 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(165) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Most deeds are fairly simple. If title is held by John Smith, and Mary and George Smith, John’s wife would be added by deeding from John Smith, Mary Smith and George Smith to John Smith, Susan Smith, Mary Smith and George Smith. A title company or a lawyer could draw the deed for you. But make sure it is recorded.

August 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm
(166) Beth says:

Our mortgage is in only my husbands name due to my ghost credit status at time of purchase. We are now 60k+ upside down, restationed and unable to sell. The purchase took place after the deadline for the military help so no luck there. We are current on mortgage but are needing to short sale. We have heard stories that if you short sale the bank can go in and liquidate all the available funds in the bank account. Now for my questions: Is this true? Can they take everything (and it’s not much) that is in there? Also, being that my name is not on the mortgage, can they go into my personal account and remove funds in that as well? The personal accounts that i speak of contain stipend dispursements from the VA and student loan to pay tuition and living costs plus a side savings that is funding only our car loan monthly. Thank you for any input.

August 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm
(167) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Banks can only pursue borrowers who are responsible for the loan. I do a lot of short sales in which only one party is on the loan. After we close, the other party buys a new home, providing the other party has good credit.

August 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm
(168) Marc says:

Should a Last Will and Testament be filed in the court system or not

August 26, 2011 at 4:22 pm
(169) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Most people want to keep the contents of a Will private. Depends on what your state laws require. We have probate court in California. You should ask your probate lawyer this question.

August 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm
(170) Marc says:

my wife needs to have her name put on her father’s property deed, titles and etc..the family does not have the money for a lawyer is there other options or resources.

August 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm
(171) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I think you are asking for somebody to perform a legal act that could require a person to be a lawyer. There is probably a black market for this somewhere, but I don’t know anybody like that. Nowadays, if you want legal protection and your deed to be valid without question, then you pay somebody to do it who has a license or is authorized to perform such acts. You might also check with Legal Aid.

September 21, 2011 at 11:55 pm
(172) Renna says:

I would like to know how can my mother claim a house that was her ex-fiance’s house in which he passed away in 2008. At that time before his death he has told his mother and my mother that he is going to give his house to my mother. But his death was sudden and he left no will and now the house is now under the next of kin which is his mother. But my mother has made attempts to contacting her and she said that she is supposed to come down to try and do something about the house but she never did. It has now been 3 years and his mother never showed up to claim or do anything to the house. So…my mother is now taking action to claim the house since his mother isn’t going to. His house is paid off and now the only thing is just the taxes. My mother is wanting to find out how to claim the house or where can she read in writing to see that when someone can claim the house just by paying the taxes and or a tax lein on the property so she can claim owner of the home before it goes to auction. His property is still in the home as well as my mother’s and even his vehicle. By the way his mother lives in Wisconsin. Sorry if that’s a lot of writing, hope that makes sense. Thanks.

September 22, 2011 at 8:38 am
(173) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It is true that in some instances you can claim ownership of real estate through a legal procedure called adverse possession or through a tax sale; however, you need to contact a real estate lawyer in Wisconsin to advise you.

September 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm
(174) Carmen says:

My father and his brother purchased some land years ago and were to spilt the land. My father back then didn’t know you had to go and sign to be put on the deed and his brother said he would take care of everything. His brother also told my father not to worry about the taxes since he wasn’t deciding to live on the property. His brother had a mobile home on his property and my father’s was only wooded. Years later now my father wants to will the land to his children so we look up the property through the county and it is only in his brother’s name and not his. We contacted the brother and offered to pay an attorney to have the property separated to 2 deeds and to pay the taxes of his property that they paid. The wife was upset and refused to let us speak to the brother and stated that he wasn’t signing anything and that the land was theirs because her husband had worked hard on that land with labor, maintenance, etc. He would only mow about 3/4 of 5 acres and maintained it because he wanted to for all the years. We do have receipts from where my father paid him for his part of the land. Do you think it’s possible to fight them in court for the land

September 27, 2011 at 10:18 pm
(175) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I think a lawyer would think so. But it would probably be a case of he said, she said.

October 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm
(176) B. says:

I live in Southern California and bought a home in October 2009 via FHA financing and would like to transfer ownership (title, mortgage, etc.) to my parents via the simplest, the most cost-efficient way (parents are on low, fixed income). My initial mortgage broker indicated that a Quitclaim Deed would be possible solution, with them refinancing later in order to remove me from the mortgage. Based on the posts/responses, it would seem a Quitclaim Deed is probably the best viable option for my situation Ė here are my question(s): 1) I received the $8K first-time homeowners credit, but can I gift/sell/transfer ownership of my FHA-financed house to my parents within 2 years of initial purchase? 2) if execute quitclaim, can the ‘consideration’ be $1 or does it have to be the appraised value? 3) what sort of taxes (if any) would we be subject to if quitclaim is executed? 4) Would ‘Gifting’ be more advantageous? Taxes? Appreciate any feedback you can provide, and thanks in advance!

October 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm
(177) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I just had a client go through, this and she had to pay the tax credit back out of the proceeds of sale. You need to get the advice of an accountant, and I am not licensed to give tax advice. I can tell you that FHA does not allow “subject to” transactions and it can call your loan if it wants to after alienation of title. You can get yourself removed from the loan if your parents qualify to assume it.

October 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm
(178) Nancy says:

In the state of California, can Spouse 1 add Spouse 2 to preowned mortgaged property without refinancing the properties? If so, how would this be done?

October 17, 2011 at 8:55 pm
(179) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I can’t give you legal advice and you are asking a legal question. There could be other circumstances in your situation that would make a quitclaim not your best choice; however, most people would simply sign, notarize and record a quitclaim deed.

Spouse 1 would deed to Spouse 1 and Spouse 2. You need to figure how you want to hold title, and this is where a lawyer could be helpful as well. Joint tenants? Community property? Community Property as Joint Tenants? Tenants in Common?

October 25, 2011 at 8:47 am
(180) What to do says:

I live in Colorado. My mother (who owns her property outright in Colorado also) did a quit claim deed to me and it has been filed with the county. Does this mean that I own the house outright? Do I need to have a Title or new Deed written up with my name on it? If so, how would I go about that? What documentation other that a copy of the Quit Claim Deed do I need when the time comes to sell the property?

October 25, 2011 at 9:03 am
(181) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I can’t say without looking at the deed. Even then, I would not be able to give you advice that you could rely on because I am not licensed to give legal advice like that. However, if the deed was notarized and prepared properly, the likelihood is you do indeed own the property. Who is listed on the tax records?

October 25, 2011 at 10:52 am
(182) What to do says:

My mother is the only one that is listed on the tax records. The property taxes are all paid to date. On the deed, she put the dollar amount as “for love and affection” as this was gifted to me and the property value is only $125,000. here is what is says minus the actual address and names:

Witness, that the Grantor, for and in consideration of Love and Affection, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, has remised, released, sold, and QUITCLAIMED, and by these presents does remise, release, sell, and QUITCLAIM unto the Grantee, his heirs, successors and assigns forever, not as tenants in common but as JOINT TENANTS, all the right, title, interest, claim, and demand which the Grantor has in and to the real property, together with improvements, if any, situate, lying and being in the County of (deleted) and the State of Colorado, described as follows:

(deleted address)

To have and to hold the same, together with all and singular the appurtenances and privileges thereunto belonging, or in anywise thereunto appertaining, and all the estate, right, title, interest, and claim whatsoever, of the Grantor, either in law or equity, to the only proper use, benefit, and behoof of the Grantee, his heirs and assigns forever. When used herein the singular shall include the plural, the plural the singular, and the use of any gender shall be applicable to all genders.

Furthermore, I understand that this document may have important legal consequences and the parties hereto are advised to consult legal and tax or other counsel before signing.

October 25, 2011 at 10:54 am
(183) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should ask a lawyer to look at it.

October 30, 2011 at 4:20 pm
(184) Maryanne says:

I have federal & state tax liens on my personal home and on property that is held jointly with my sister. The mortgage is in my name only. My sister wants to refinance the mortgage in her name only, with only her name on the deed. Will she have to pay my federal & state taxes in order to do the refinance?

October 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm
(185) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Generally, liens are attached to the property, so you can’t do a refinance without paying them off. You might be able to get a temporary release and reinstatement. The only time I’ve seen the IRS release is when there is no equity. You might talk with a lawyer about this.

October 31, 2011 at 11:23 pm
(186) Ladybird says:

I’ve been married 4 years and I recently was going through the safe when I came across a package of Deeds that my husband and his ex-wife signed together in 2006, they divorced and we started dating in 2007. If he passes, does she get the house and property. We live in Pennsylvania and the house is paid for. We also have a Living Will that claims I will get the house and property, but will that hold up in court against the Deed??

October 31, 2011 at 11:30 pm
(187) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Funny thing about Wills. You can only bequeath what you own. You should seek legal advice.

November 10, 2011 at 12:13 am
(188) Sophie says:

I purchased my home a year ago- and paid cash for it.–being 79 yrs old. I want to transfer the house to my two son jointly. I would continue to pay taxes on the house and all the utility bills. Would the taxes, etc. be sent to my house??
I sold my home before I purchased this house, went thru the closings—paid fees, etc. My lawyer helped me get the house for homestead fees, etc. Charged my $350. Now if I go to him again what would be the fee??? I guess I have to get a deed—would be too complicated to do myself. What do you advise.

November 10, 2011 at 9:32 am
(189) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I think if your lawyer charges you another $350 to draw a deed, a) your son is worth it and b) your lawyer charges too much. For that, you should get dinner, too. At his house.

November 18, 2011 at 5:47 am
(190) linda says:

Ex-husband and I finalized divorce a couple of years ago. we purchased a house a couple of years prior and in the divorce agreement, he was awarded the house at his request. He attempted to assume the loan (I signed over a quit claim deed) and he was unable to do so. It is now a year past the divorce agreement deadline and he has not removed my name from the mortgage. He states that short sale would leave a 35k deficit. What am I liable for in this case?

November 18, 2011 at 9:17 am
(191) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I suspect that sometimes spouses are so happy to be rid of each other during a divorce that they leave important details hanging. Not that this situation applies to your case — this is just a general warning to others contemplating a divorce to not let this happen to them.

You should get legal advice. It is entirely possible that you would be liable for a deficiency because your name is still on that loan. Didn’t your lawyer have a back-up plan for you in the event your ex was unable to assume the loan? Like, sell the house?

I’m sorry you are in short sale territory now. Please get legal advice, and make sure that if you participate in the short sale that you get a release of liability from the bank.

January 3, 2012 at 11:32 am
(192) Chaney says:

My wife and I divorced years ago, then decided to get back together. we never remarried, but kept both our names on the land title. Then, my wifehad an affair so we seperated again, but I built an appartment on the land and she stayed in house. I always paid the mortgage on the land and house.Then my ex-wife met a guy, abandoned the house, moved and has never payed the land or the house mortgage. I then paid land and house titles off in full. My son and his daughter are now staying in the house and my ex-wife keeps getting loans out and uses the house and land as collateral. My son has paid those loans off everytime. Now, once again, she has put the land up as collateral for a personal loan and refuses to pay it. We are all tired of this and want to know my legal rights.Can I remove her name? Can I take away her rights to the land completely?

January 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm
(193) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Who handled your divorce? Ownership of the land should have been addressed in your divorce. Why don’t you look at your paperwork to see how the asset was handled?

If your ex-wife is unwilling to sign a deed transferring ownership to you, and the matter was left unsettled during your divorce, you might need to hire a lawyer and / or settle this in court.

January 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm
(194) Chaney says:

Yea, that’s the confusing part. We were divorced when we decided to buy a house and the land. We put it in both our names, but we were not married just living together (trying to work things out).

January 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm
(195) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It goes without saying that generally joint real estate purchases between unmarried people should provide a document for disposition at the time of acquisition. You can trust a friend or a soon-to-be or even a soon-to-be-again spouse, but it’s always better to get it in writing.

January 3, 2012 at 1:30 pm
(196) Chaney says:

I have paperwork, but it states whoever pays the most overall gets the land. I have proof that I have paid pretty much all, but don’t know where to go from here. We were divorced, but still had paperwork drawn….thank goodness. BTW, thank you for answering my questions! :)

January 3, 2012 at 2:01 pm
(197) Chaney says:

If I could prove that I paid the most and had all my paperwork, is there anything I could do then?

January 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Probably not without your ex-wife’s consent, but I am not a lawyer. You need to ask a lawyer those questions. If your ex disagrees with your assessment, you may have to go to court to duke it out.

February 21, 2012 at 11:33 pm
(199) Wondering says:

My husband just refinanced the home he purchased prior to our marriage 9 years ago; my name is now on the loan. I am not, however, listed as a joint owner. What is the easiest and/or least complicated way to add my name to the deed? We live in California.

February 22, 2012 at 9:23 am
(200) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Your name might already be on the deed. I don’t know of any lender that would let you sign loan docs without it, but you never know. You might look at your title policy to see if it insures both of you. If it doesn’t, you will need to hire a paralegal or a lawyer to prepare a deed as title companies, I am told, have quit doing accommodation escrows.

February 24, 2012 at 7:37 pm
(201) Carol says:

I live in Nevada and I have been married for a year and a half. We live in my husband’s house that he had previous to our marriage. I am not on the mortgage or the deed. Should he die do I have any claim to the house?

February 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm
(202) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I do not know, Carol, because I am not a lawyer nor do I work in Nevada. You should ask a lawyer. If your husband leaves the home to you in a will, there might be tax consequences. Both of you should discuss this and seek appropriate counsel.

February 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm
(203) nicardo says:

I sent money to Jamaica to buy property and build a house with my x -boyfriend, at the completion i separated from my boyfriend, now i asked him to put my name on the Deed and he refuses. is there a way i could force him to add my name to the Deed?
I have proof that i sent the money!

February 26, 2012 at 10:29 am
(204) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You are dealing in a foreign country, so you should hire a lawyer in that country. You will probably have a hard case to prove because money can be used for anything. If you have documentation that shows you are entitled to own part of the property, bring that to your lawyer.

February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm
(205) Adelaide says:

My husband’s job is transferring us to Ohio. We have a bit of a rocky marriage, but I want to work it out. He doesn’t want me on the deed or mortgage of the house, but says I can continue to live there with our son if we divorce. I’m a stay-at-home mom (by my husband’s choice) and I have no income. Should I insist on being placed on the deed? Ohio is a “dower” state and not community property.

February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm
(206) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Let’s presume for a moment that you do not know your husband and you are not related. Some guy is telling you that you can stay in a house rent free for as long as you like. Some guy you don’t know. How do you feel about that? Well, that’s the situation you are in.

You need a lawyer.

March 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(207) Jeffery smith says:

Can title company add my wife to the mortgage after it was recorded. The note is only in my name.the mortgage was recorded in just my name April 20,2009. May 01,2009 they rerecorded by adding my wifes name. We filed for divorce a year later & due to financial hardship, I tried to have it modified. The approved it and declined me saying, my wife refused to sign. We didnt know they added her name. can they add her name without me knowing?

March 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm
(208) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Your wife would have had to sign the mortgage to have her name on it. Perhaps they are denying you because you are still married? Or are you divorced?

March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm
(209) Robert says:

This is my situation. A few years ago wife #1 and I bought a condo. I was the only one on the mortgage and the only one on the Grant deed, BUT we did sign an interspousal deed. We divorced and I kept the house.

I recently was remarried and would like to add wife #2 on the deed. The question I have is how do I get ex-wife #1 off the interspousal deed? Or better yet, does she have rights to the property still if I’m the only person on the deed and the only person on the mortgage?

Thank you very much!!

March 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm
(210) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

An inter spousal deed is probably a deed in which your wife quitclaimed any interest she may have in the property to you. If it was the other way around, you have a problem. If not, you do not.

March 6, 2012 at 6:52 pm
(211) Robert says:

Thank you Elizabeth!

I wanted to clarify though that we signed the interspousal deed when I signed the paperwork for the grant deed/at closing. Is there anything else I need to do?

Thank you again!

March 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm
(212) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Well, hopefully the interspousal deed is recorded, so there is nothing else you need to do.

March 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm
(213) Debbie says:

Father left my sister and me beach property when he passed away. Title is in both of our names. She wants to sell property and I do not. I cannot afford to buy her out right now. Can she sell without me agreeing to the sell?

March 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm
(214) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Depends on how you hold title. Generally speaking, a second owner can sell that second owner’s interest in the property to a buyer. But on the practical side, who would want to buy 50% of a property?

Why don’t you offer your sister a mortgage in the $ amount of the market value of her interest, payable at a rate you can afford to pay? Please see a lawyer to make sure the documents are properly drawn and recorded.

March 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm
(215) Ann Stager says:

My mother filed a life estate without filing my father’s death certificate. Can I quit claim my interest to my siblings without first filing my father’s death certificate?

March 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm
(216) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am at a loss as to what your mother’s life estate has to do with your father’s death certificate or what any of this has to do with you, but if you have an interest in a property that you wish to quitclaim, you should be able to do so, providing there is nothing in your state law preventing it. You should probably talk to a real estate lawyer.

March 22, 2012 at 11:44 am
(217) Alex C says:

Quick question. My mother owns her home outright, in FL, and the property is in her name only. She has now moved out of State and no longer wants the porperty. She has signed a quit claim deed for me to take over the proerty. Along with an additional agreement for a “lease to Own” option. Once the Quit Claim deed is filed will this add my name to the tiltle? Are they are any other issues that I need to be aware of?

April 17, 2012 at 8:52 am
(218) Sotirios says:

The deed is in my name but the loan is on my wife’s name for the same property is that legal and what happens if she defaults on the loan???

April 17, 2012 at 9:00 am
(219) sotirios says:

my house is upside down in value (about $400k) my wife’s name is on the loan but my name is on the deed. we are in the process to modify, now do we qualify for any loss in value and modify at today’s fair market value???

April 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

The person whose name is on the loan is typically on the hook.

April 17, 2012 at 9:52 am
(221) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should call the bank to determine if a loan modification is a possibility.

April 29, 2012 at 11:09 pm
(222) Richard says:

Me an my wife bought home in 2005 (State of GA). I have lost income (unemployed last summer) and home is upside down $150K value with BOA mortgage payments are in 4 months default. We are separated and about to file for divorce. I no longer want to be on this mortgage and she wants to keep the home. We agree to do a quitclaim deed, then she will do a assumption of responsibility. Do you think the bank will release of liability to me if we go pay layer fee for the quitclaim deed & assumption of responsibility. I am currently living out of state with a friend.

Any help will be appreciated.

April 30, 2012 at 11:02 am
(223) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I think you should call a lawyer because your home is in default. I do not believe the bank will release you from liability, although it might agree to a loan modification. However, you’ll still be on the hook, most likely.

May 9, 2012 at 4:52 pm
(224) Marie says:

Divorced 8 years in the judge granted me the deeded to my home, my ex husband is on the mortgage note and wants to pay the mortgage note, can my ex husband take my property away from me?

Thank you,
Houston Texas

May 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm
(225) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should talk to a lawyer. If your husband still on title? Did he ever comply with the divorce order and deed the home to you? Why would he make payments on a home he does not own? Generally, people can’t just start paying on something and then claim they own it, but Texas has some weird laws. You should get legal advice.

May 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm
(226) Mekyel says:

I have a condo with my and my wife’s name on the title/deed, but the mortgage is under my name. It was a primary home but we moved and have rented it out for 3 yrs. It is beyond upside down and I want to walk away/ forclose on it but we own another home with both names on the title and her name on the mortgage. 1. Can I remove her name from the condo’s deed/title and avoid any action against our current home? 2. What would be best way to do that? (we live in Chicago)

May 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm
(227) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should get legal advice in Chicago. A lawyer might advise you to remove your name from the home you presently own if she thinks that the bank will get a judgment on you for the first home. That’s probably more of a concern than your wife’s name on a home for which she’s not on the mortgage. But I can’t give you legal advice.

May 18, 2012 at 3:48 pm
(228) Brynn McClung says:

I am interested in buying land that is in the lots next to my home. It has a lot of trash on it and also looks really bad. I went through the city and they sent me to a lawyer that deals in our city with properties. Well when he was in the process of rsearching it he found that the previous owner which was a develpoment corporation was abolished in 1985. The taxes are not being paid unless the city has taken them over. He said that there is nothing he can do right now. I was wondering what my other options are. I also went to the county court house and they told me I have to go through the lawyer which will not call me back. Please help me, I have been trying to buy this land for about 2 years now and no one wants to help me.

May 18, 2012 at 4:17 pm

You need to find the owner of the lot and make an offer. Find another lawyer to help you.

May 19, 2012 at 4:39 am
(230) marie says:

I have a problem concerning a property

My farther got the morgage to buy a house and paid off as perants could not get one now they have both past-away and the cousins have got there names on deeds to property my question is who owns the home as my farther is alive and well

May 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

Generally speaking, the person or persons who are the grantee(s) on a properly notarized deed are the property owner(s). You may want to talk to a local real estate lawyer for more advice.

May 24, 2012 at 11:13 am
(232) Mike says:

Hello, my mom has passed and she has put me and my brother on the deed to her house. My brother will be living in the house. I am from out of town, The house is paid off. My major concern is will I be responsible for taxes on the house if my name is on the deed? Thanks for any response!

May 24, 2012 at 11:19 am
(233) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Since you asked for “any” response, how about this one? Do you know of anything that you could possibly own for which you are not responsible? From a package of gum to an ocean liner, if your name is on it, you own it and as such duties are implied. But I can’t give you legal advice as I am not a lawyer.

May 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(234) morgan says:

My dear friends wife left him years ago, she signed her right’s away to the house a quit claim deed. (she took everything else!) so we could buy her out, which we did. The mortage company gave approval, even tho she is on the mortage. I am the recorded deed holder. My friend passed away months ago, I keep the mortage current, with everyones knowledge that he passed away. Can I now sell the home without her signing anything?

May 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm
(235) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t know all the real estate laws in every state and even if I did I couldn’t give you legal advice. There is no substitution for legal advice. Generally speaking, once a quitclaim deed is recorded, title has been transferred.

June 4, 2012 at 2:10 am
(236) Rich Barnett says:

My sister and I were left some worthless property in both of our names when our father passed away in 1976. He paid a large sum for it when purchased back in 1955 ( Salton Sea property ). Her and I have been splitting the taxes for many years and she told me 4 years ago that I could just have it free because she was tired of paying on something that will never be valuable. Both her name and my name appear on the tax bill each year. How do I go about in a very inexpensive way of removing her name as co-owner? My dad paid $15,000.00 for it and I have found a buyer that will give me $1800.00 for it.
Can I get her name off of the title in an inexpensive way….Thanks.

June 4, 2012 at 8:53 am
(237) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Title companies used to do this sort of thing for a small fee, but many title companies (in California) no longer do accommodation escrows because of the liability. However, since you want to sell the property and have a buyer, you might work up an agreement between you and the buyer and submit it to a title company. The title company could then draw a quitclaim deed from your sister to you as part of the transaction.

It is almost always in your favor to get legal advice, in any event. Lawyers can also draw a deed.

June 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm
(238) stevee says:

If i purchased a home from my uncle and his wife and he signed the deed over into my name but the wife refused even though she wrote a check saying that she got her half of the money with the adress on the check and her signature and i had a receipt from where i deposited the moey to her account. then a year later after they fialed for a divorce he went to court in another state where she had moved to and filled for a divorce and they gave the house to him but is there any way she could take a loan out on our house or try and sell it out from underneath me? do i have the right to sue her for pain and suffering?

June 10, 2012 at 9:12 am

If a party remains in title or does not otherwise transfer an interest, that party might still have a claim to property, which is why you should always hire a third party who is authorized to assist you in conveying title. You may need to hire a lawyer to straighten this out.

July 13, 2012 at 11:40 am
(240) ginger says:

I have a landlord that has a quickclaim deed to the house I am living in. I have been paying him rent for 2 years now. He has paid no mortage payments or taxes. The original owners are still getting stuff from the bank about the mortage.
My landlord has never recorded the deed and has no plans on doing so is this legal. I live in new jersey.

July 13, 2012 at 11:47 am
(241) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

In many states, a deed does not need to be recorded to be valid, but I have no idea what the laws are in New Jersey. Whether a property owner pays taxes or a mortgage payment is that property owner’s personal business. That’s not to say it doesn’t affect you, especially if a bank files foreclosure and you’re evicted. You might want to talk to a lawyer about your legal rights.

July 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(242) ferdie says:

how can i tell who hold the deed to my home when the morgage been sold three or four times?

July 21, 2012 at 9:26 am
(243) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The person who holds the deed to your home would be you. If you want to know the name of the investor who holds your mortgage, you would need to call your lender and ask. The servicer of your loan is not always the investor.

July 27, 2012 at 8:46 pm
(244) riggle3219 says:

I bought a piece of land 13 years ago, in Pennsylvania, my deed has a reserve and exception or the coal and underlying minerals and says nothing of gas and oil. In PA I technically own the gas and oil. Now the folks who I bought the property from want to change what the deed says to include the gas and oil, and have drawn up a paper or letter saying those who owned the property that I bought it from, agreed that the gas and oil was to be included, can they do this. This deed was recorded and the lawyer that did the initial work is deceased.

July 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

How much are they offering to pay you for the oil and mineral rights?

July 29, 2012 at 1:24 am
(246) srscrjb says:

my mother did a quitclaim deed and put my brother’s name on the will after hers. she made out a will stating that the house is to be sold and divided five ways…we are in the state of North Carolina. Because his name is on the quitclaim deed, does he automatically get the house upon her death? Does it make a difference that she made the above specifications in the will?

July 29, 2012 at 10:07 am
(247) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Generally speaking, a person cannot will or give away ownership of property which a person does not own. If your mother quitclaimed the property, the portion she quitclaimed is no longer hers. For example, I could leave you the Brooklyn Bridge in my will, but if I don’t own it, you can’t get it.

July 31, 2012 at 4:21 pm
(248) gina says:

In california, if only my name is on the title on my home, will it automatically go to my husband at the time of my death without going through probate?

July 31, 2012 at 4:25 pm
(249) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The short and sweet answer to this question is no. If you want your husband to receive title to your property after your death without passing through probate, you need to talk to a lawyer about how to hold title and record a new deed.

August 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm
(250) Denise says:

Sister and I have land together in Indiana, if you still owe money to the bank on the land, can you still get it survived off? It is a whole 43 ac. We are wanting to split it, her take her half me take mine. But there is a mortgage on it. Will that make a difference?

August 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm
(251) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You would have to check with a lawyer in Indiana to get an answer to that question. Some places have minimum parcel sizes that can be divided as well. The mortgage would most likely remain secured to both parcels, if you were able to divide. Mortgages don’t vanish. Moreover, there could be restrictions in your mortgage documents.

August 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm
(252) maggie says:

i have been divorce for a year and i am living in the house loan is in my name. I want to IF I apply for refinane my ex husband claims half of the house? the Mortgage is on my name only, his name is on the deed. Please help me.


August 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(253) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should talk to a lawyer because the house does not belong to you. You can’t encumber what you do not own.

August 27, 2012 at 12:27 am
(254) Tara says:

My husband and I purchased a home cash…when time for closing, I reviewed the docs and noticed that my name was not on the title, so I stipulated that I needed and ought to be on the title. The title co. simply changed my husband status to a “married man.” I was OK with this being that we have been married for 20 yrs… what makes me uneasy now is that I never signed anything and I know that I should have been there to at least sign the title deed..I thought there were dower rights in MI but I think I may have just been screwed out of that. Any advise is helpful.

August 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm
(255) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t know Michigan law and if I did I couldn’t advise you about the legal aspects anyway, but if it were me, I’d feel a little bit uncomfortable too. But then my husband wouldn’t leave my name off of the title.

August 29, 2012 at 7:23 am
(256) ana maria mcgrann says:

My purchased a timeshare in Vermont aprox 15yrs ago with NOW my ex. In my divorce decree I was awarded this timeshare as part of the divorce settlement. I am trying to have dee changed. Can I do this without a lawyer????I can’t afford the additional cost. Who do I contact to have this done by mail would be my best option since I live in New York. THANK YOU

August 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm
(257) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

What’s with a lawyer who crafts an agreement to transfer real property but doesn’t bother to create the instrument that actually conveys the property??

September 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm
(258) Rheta says:

Husband and I divorced. It was in the decree that he sell the house when youngest child turned 18 or pay me half equity in the house at the time of the divorce. Both of our names were on the house. & years later he remarries and takes my name off and adds new wifes name. I never signed a thing. Can they do that legally? I live in Iowa.

September 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm
(259) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

How do you know? Did you look in the public records? If you did not sign a deed, then your name is still on title. If your ex forged your name (and a notary), you may need to see a lawyer.

September 18, 2012 at 5:25 am
(260) Arline says:

Have couple divorced, she got home and did the quitclaim per decree. Now needs to short sale and we see financial paperwork from bank wants both borrowers info as both he and she on the loan. What does she do? Just fill out her and send it in with a copy of the divorce decree? Thank you!

September 18, 2012 at 12:22 pm
(261) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I have yet to see a short sale bank that doesn’t demand both parties to the mortgage participate in the short sale. The bank negotiators don’t care who is on title. If both parties are on the loan, they want both parties to participate. A short sale affects the credit of both parties.

September 28, 2012 at 10:23 am
(262) Rebecca says:

Hi, I purchased our home in my name only. Since I am in NC he was added to the deed. We separated last year, and got back together. We are now separated and this time divorcing. Does he have interest in my house again?

September 28, 2012 at 10:28 am
(263) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Are you asking me if a deed expires? Because deeds do not expire. Did you record a deed from him back to you? If you have questions about the legality of your deed, you might need to ask a lawyer as I do not practice law, and I do not sell real estate in North Carolina.

October 28, 2012 at 9:42 pm
(264) Shontae says:

My fiance purchased a house. (CASH).He put my name on purchased house along with his. If we breakup, can i receive any compensation from my name being on house. It ws purchased with his money…

October 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm
(265) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am telling him you said that. Yup, I’m picking up the phone right now and calling him. Watch me dial his number. Just joking. Perhaps you would benefit from a long discussion with a trusted person about whether you are ready to settle down with this individual.

October 31, 2012 at 6:24 pm
(266) CC says:

I just received my Warranty Deed today from the house I purchased February of this year. I purchased our home in Ohio and I have concern for the writing written in this deed. It states “To have and to hold the above granted and bargained premises, with the appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto the said Grantees, and to the survivor of them, his or her separate heirs and assign forever, And the said Grantor, for its successors and assigns, hereby covenants with the said premises, and is well seized of the same in fee simple, and that the same are free and clear from all encumbrances, except any leases, rights of ways, easements, restrictions, and matter that may be of record and further, that said Grantor will warrant and defecnd the same against all claims of all persons whatsoever, except as hereinbefore provided.

What concerns me is the exceptions. We had a issue with the seller wanting to retain mineral rights and lease them less then two weeks before closing and we had to take legal action to be sure he dropped this issue and we were assured there would be no issues. Also does it typically take 9 months to receive a copy of your deed after the sale?

Could you please explain what this means to me?


October 31, 2012 at 6:29 pm
(267) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

This might not be a warranty deed. It might be a Grant Deed. You should ask a lawyer this question or go to a local title company. I don’t work in Ohio, and I don’t know Ohio law and, even if I did know Ohio law, I could not advise you on the legal aspects because I am not a lawyer.

November 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm
(268) Addison says:

OK ~ My spouse’s mom got a mortgage and title in her name but gifted the property to both of us. I pay the mortgage, I pay all the bills (including mortgage) actually but my concern is that things have gone very wrong in our marriage and it looks like we are headed for divorce or at least seperation. It was a verbal gift, “of course” but she did the same thing with my spouses brother and his girlfriend, as far as getting the mortage and title in her name and gifting the property to them. No written proof for them either. The brother may be willing to tell a judge that they were gifted to us. What are my options? Should I get legal advice? It’s 41 acres m/l and we live in MO. What about a quitclaim deed? What about being kicked out? Sorry, I have so many questions. Lend me your ear. LOL

November 5, 2012 at 9:12 am
(269) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Do you really want to sue your mother-in-law? I think that’s what it could come down to if she doesn’t deed the property to you and, under the circumstances (of a possible pending divorce), she might not. Yes, I do suggest you get legal advice on this. Or, at the very least, ask your MIL to sign and notarize a deed. But you probably owe it to her to tell her the truth.

November 7, 2012 at 1:37 am
(270) Frank S. says:

I have a mortgage that I am the primary borrower and there is a co- borrower as well. The deed is under both our names but I filed chapter 13 bankruptcy and included what we were behind on the mortgage. Myself and the co-borrower are on the deed. The co-borrower decided that he did not want anything to do with the house anymore and just left. I was not aware of this until I got back two weeks after he had left. I am still paying on the mortgage as I have always done, but what can be done to get the deed under my name only.

November 7, 2012 at 8:36 am
(271) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You are wise to be thinking about this now. The lawyer who handled your BK might be able to help you to draw a quitclaim deed, but you will not only need to get it signed by the co-borrower, but the signature will need to be notarized.

A big mistake people make is they sometimes don’t match the names on the deed. Whichever way that person took title is the way that person should deed out. For example, if the parties on title are John Gomer Smith and Mary Louise Smith, John needs to deed to Mary as John Gomer Smith, not as John G. Smith or John Smith. Then make sure you record this deed in the county where the property is located.

December 29, 2012 at 11:32 am
(272) fianny says:

my husband name is on a deed of the house,if he dies it is automatically goes to me without doing quit claim deed? but he makes a will putting my name that says the property goes to me if he dies…,by the way that house is given to him from his mother who passed away recently…mother put his name on the deed since 2002..or do you think that other family member can get that house? washington state,,thank you

December 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm
(273) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

What’s preventing your husband from adding your name to the deed now and holding title between the two of you as joint tenants? You should ask a lawyer in Washington these questions.

January 3, 2013 at 11:18 pm
(274) Kim says:

Step dad bought a house for me and my children he paid cash. On the deed it states his name then mine and if he dies the house is 100% mine. We are on an honor system and I pay him monthly. I pay utilities and home warranty he pays taxes and insurance. Him and mom are considering getting a divorce and now he wants my name off the deed and he wants to sale the house. What are my rights. Nothing is in writting except the deed. House paid off I’m in Oregon.

January 4, 2013 at 12:25 am
(275) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I hate to say this because everybody wants free advice, but what you really need is a lawyer in Oregon to look at your deed and advise you.

January 12, 2013 at 6:24 am
(276) gemma says:

hi, my mothers boyfriend has left her and is about to declare himself bankrupt. If we remove him from the deeds before he goes bankrupt I understand he won’t own the property, however he will remain on the mortgage and still be liable for the debt. Does this also mean he could benefit from the house I.E if we ever sell house? Or on my mum’s estate? Please note: the house id in negative equity but we plan to get it in equity over the next few years by making overpayments to the interest only mortgage. Unfortunately my mum cant obtain a mortgage in her sole name due to bad credit rating.

Many thanks for your time and expertise

January 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

I can’t speak to your state’s laws nor your personal situation because I am not a lawyer and I cannot give you legal real estate advice, but I can say that typically when a deed is executed, it conveys all right, title and interest.

January 15, 2013 at 10:26 am
(278) Rhonda says:

I am married and we live in the state of Ohio. We are in the processing of purchasing a home. The loan will by in my husband’s name only. Does the state of Ohio require the home title/deed to be in both names? In looking at the paperwork it does show my husband as being married, however, everything looks to be in his name only (no reference to my name) to include the title and I’m concerned about my interests since I will be helping pay for this home. He also stated it was not necessary for me to attend the closing which also concerns me because if I’m on title one would think I need to be at the closing and sign. Can you please advise me….help!!!

January 15, 2013 at 11:38 am

Hello Rhonda: I am sensing more issues at stake here than whether your name is on title and you might want to examine further your uneasiness. It’s smart to listen to your gut instincts. Although I cannot give you legal advice, generally speaking, if you are not on title you might not have an interest in the property. States do not require married individuals to hold title together. Loans that are taken out in a spouse’s name do not require both spouses’ names to be on title, but often they do require at least one spouse to sign a deed to the other spouse, although not necessarily. My advice to you is to talk to a lawyer in Ohio before this closes.

January 15, 2013 at 10:31 pm
(280) James Stevens says:

Community property state: What is the consequence to the lender when a non borrowing spouse did not give written consent for a reverse mortgage, (the title company did not (settlement statement document) did not show a title search/abstract was performed (I think line 1103) and the lender now wants the spouse to enter into an agreement to continue living in the home and extend the maturity date, waive any claims against the lender? Spouse was a non titled homeowner

January 16, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I am not a lawyer and cannot give you legal advice but it sounds to me like the bank messed up. I suggest the non-titled spouse should talk to a lawyer before signing anything, presuming there is no quitclaim deed, because the spouse’s possibly acquired interest, if any, might not be encumbered by the mortgage.

January 21, 2013 at 4:03 am
(282) Megan says:

Myself and my boyfriend with our two kids have been renting my cousins trailer in Grants NM for the last 4 years, with an oral agreement on the rent of $500.00 a month. It is my understanding that the $500 a month its the while mortgage payment, just recently they informed me that they were about to file for bankruptcy and foreclose on the trailer, and to stop paying rent. Before I did that I wanted to be better informed about my options. I love living here and I know that they still owe allot on the trailer its self and they own the land it sits on. Is there a way to take over the payments so it doesn’t go into foreclosure? I was reading something about a quitdeed and didn’t know if it would apply in this situation. We are on time with the payments and would love to know how to keep then from foreclosing on it and how to take it over ourselves.
Any advice would be very helpful.

January 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

The problem is your cousins might have stopped making their mortgage payments and be way behind, on top of which there might be verbiage contained in their loan documents that prevent anybody else from taking over their mortgage. You need legal advice.

January 24, 2013 at 1:53 pm
(284) jrs says:

I was just handed a copy of a warrenty deed my mother filed at a court house in FL. My name, along with two other siblings are on it. I don’t want my name on the deed. How can I get my name off? I told my mother that I don’t need or want her home and that deeding it to the others was fine with me. She didn’t want to hear it.

January 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

You should talk to a lawyer and an accountant as there might be tax consequences to deed out. You might ask the other two if they would like you to deed your interest to them so they don’t end up in the place you evidently find yourself in now.

January 24, 2013 at 6:10 pm
(286) Vanessa says:

I live in California and I’m an only child. My mom and Stepdad owned a rental property together. My mom died three yrs ago. Both names remained on the property until my stepdad quick deeded the property over to a cousin on my mom’s side of the family two months before he unexpectedly died. Am I entitled to half the property since I’m the heir to my mom and is it true that what my stepdad inherited from my mom when she died goes back to me her only child?

January 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm
(287) Dee says:

Mother died 9/2011 have been paying mortgage on house but both still in her name. I want to put it in my name so I can sell or rent it. How would I go about that? House in Calif

January 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

It depends how your mom and stepdad held title, Vanessa. If it was joint tenants, then the property would go to the surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse then deeded the property to somebody else before he died, then the property belongs to the person he deeded it to. But if you have further questions, you should talk to a probate lawyer.

January 24, 2013 at 9:10 pm

You need to find out who owns the property now. A probate lawyer could help you with that process. Paying the mortgage means you have kept the home from foreclosure but if your name is not on that deed, you have a problem. Did your mother have a will? Did she die intestate? This is where a lawyer can help you.

January 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm
(290) kathy says:

My ex-husband and I bought two lots of land. When we got a divorce he said the land was mine but no where was it mentioned in the divorce decree. I have looked up the warranty deed and it still shows to be in both his and my name. I have absolutely no idea where he may be. What should I do? Thank you!!

January 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Find him, would be my suggestion. And ask him to sign / notarize a quitclaim deed to you.

January 28, 2013 at 9:38 am
(292) Wilkinson says:

my father is very sick he has been telling me to transfer the deed into my name for about a year but I didn’t do it how do I go about doing it now was out there be a lot of fees.

January 28, 2013 at 10:10 am

My suggestion is to hire a lawyer or a title company employee to draw the deed for you. Although there are forms you can buy to complete yourself, 9 times out of 10 they are filled out incorrectly, which can cause legal problems down the road. Hire a pro to do it for you. It’s not that expensive. It will also need to be notarized, but there are mobile notaries who will come to you if your father is too ill to go to them.

February 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm
(294) Joey says:

When my ex husband and I divorced he gave me the home we shared together. We did a quick claim deed on the home. My name is the only name on the deed but he is the only one on the mortgage. I am selling the home on Land contract. Should I purchase title insurance??

February 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm

You would typically buy title insurance if you were buying — in this instance, I would suggest you spend your money on a lawyer so you are better protected in the event of default and understand your rights as Vendor under a land contract.

February 5, 2013 at 3:03 pm
(296) Susan Martinez says:

Father in law and his sister were joint tenants on deed. My father in law removed his sister from the deed since she passed and has since found out that prior to her death, she quitclaimed the house to her son. Father in law now wants to quitclaim his half to his son. Problem, There now to seems to be two deeds, one with each of their names instead of one with both names. Is this going to be a problem. Family has been fighting for years over this house and there was no comunication when she gave her half to her son. (Which we know is not required) We were getting ready to do the quitclaim for father to son but i think this two deed thing could be a problem. What do you think?

February 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I think if you want to be absolutely certain, you need to ask a lawyer or a title company this question. I am not a lawyer and cannot dispense legal advice. Generally speaking, both people do not need to sign the same deed. If A & B hold title and A quitclaims to C, B can also quitclaim to C or any other party, providing the title held by A & B can be separately conveyed and its transfer is not restricted.

February 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm
(298) Tracee says:

My daughter bought a home in fl. In 2010 she now wants to buy another and let her sister live there and pay the mortgage.Can or should she put her sister on the deed to claim homestead?

February 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm
(299) Tracee says:

I live in Florida and bought a home in 2020 that I live in.I would like to purchase another for my daughter to live in .Can I or should I put her on the deed and would she be able to homestead if she is not on the loan but is paying the mortgage payment?

February 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm
(300) Tracee says:

I live in Florida and bought a home in 2020 that I live in.I would like to purchase another for my daughter to live in .Can I or should I put her on the deed and would she be able to homestead if she is not on the loan but is paying the mortgage payment?

February 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Can’t really answer you because I don’t work in Florida and I do not know Florida law. Generally, homesteading is done by a person who is on the title to the property.

February 6, 2013 at 7:37 am
(302) KP says:

My husband inheratted 10 acres in 2000. We’ve been a couple and lived together (apartment then house) starting in 1999. We married in 2009 but never got the deed changed to add my name (the wife). I own the house on the land, his name isn’t on the deed. If we seperate do I have rights to stay on the land. The house is a modular and can be moved but I don’t want to move and he’s talking about selling the land. Can I do anything to keep it?

February 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Whether your husband can sell the land he owns without your name on it is a question for a real estate lawyer where you live.

The difficulty lies not so much in selling as with getting title insurance for the new buyer. In some community property states, a title company will not issue title insurance without a quitclaim from the spouse.

February 12, 2013 at 5:12 pm
(304) Victoria A. says:

I transferred my house to my daughter in 2010 as gift. The deed and mortgage loan are under her name now. She wants to add my name to the deed again, she feels safer if my name is on the deed. Can she add my name (parent)? cons or pros of adding as joint tenancy after property was given as gift. We live in California.

February 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm

You would need to ask your accountant about tax consequences because I do not do taxes. However, I doubt that you transferred the mortgage unless it was formally assumed by your daughter.

February 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm
(306) Christine says:

My ex-husband and I were divorced about 7 years ago and at that time we did not change anything on the deed or mortgage for the house that both of our names are on. I live in the house and I pay the mortgage.
He now wants to transfer the title over to me. Do I need to have a grant deed filled out and will this also take him off of the mortgage? If not, what do I need to do to get him off of the mortgage to relieve him of any responsibility?

February 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm
(307) Christine says:

I forgot to mention in my earlier comment that I live in California.
Thank you

February 13, 2013 at 8:34 pm

It’s unlikely that the bank will let you assume the loan and remove your ex but you can ask. Most likely you will need to refinance to remove him from the mortgage.

February 21, 2013 at 6:28 am
(309) Summer says:

Michigan. Own a home w/mortgage. Would like to quit claim deed to my sister. The home is worth more than IRS gift allowance. Mortgage will remain in my name. Ultimate goal is to get home out of my name and purchase another home without being subject to non-homestead property tax. Sister currently resides in home & pays mortgage to the penny. What is the smart way to approach this with the minimal to no tax implications for either of us? Thanks!

February 21, 2013 at 8:56 am
(310) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am not a tax expert but I know who is a tax expert, and that’s William Perez. I suggest you ask him at: http://taxes.about.com

February 23, 2013 at 10:39 am
(311) edna says:

I sold my secondary house to my son in october, i have not change the deed on his name until next month that he is going to pay me more money, and the rest he is going to make a home equity loan to pay me the rest, since he has children, in case that something happens to him before he pay me all, can he make a wiil on my behalf. so i will get the house back to me. I live in NJ. thanks for your help.

February 23, 2013 at 2:56 pm
(312) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m sorry, Edna, but I am not a real estate lawyer and cannot answer your legal question. You might be better served by going to the forum on law at our site: http://law.about.com

March 8, 2013 at 9:00 am
(313) Jackie says:

My Fiance and I are planning to marry. His father wants him to sign a prenup or else he will disinherit him. My question: the prenup will state that whatever money in used for the will…say down payment on a house..etc..that I have to give back to the heritance. His children are being left the inheritance. If he buys a house with the inhertance and I pay the taxes with my income, fix up the house with my income, does that money get deducted from the inheritance?

March 8, 2013 at 11:02 am
(314) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hello Jackie: You need to ask your lawyer this question. Each prenup is different. It depends on the verbiage in your agreement, which a lawyer should explain to you.

March 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(315) Libby says:

My husband has never paid the HOA dues (8 yrs now). I am not on the load nor the deed, as I signed a quitclaim when he bought the home. (No, I didn’t know I was supposed to announce it in paper). The HOA is just NOW putting my name on their bills/warning letters. Can they legally go after me? The house has been in and out of pre foreclosure, and the HOA has liens on the house. I have never been on the loan nor the title. Help! BTW: husband lives in CA, but pretends to all creditors he is here in Idaho, at this home. I can’t wait to divorce him! ($$$ for attorney).

March 12, 2013 at 11:42 am
(316) Deborah says:

My mother purchased first home in 97 this home has excellent equity & she has 70,000.00 left to pay off house she does not live in this home she rents it out to her ex boyfriend . About six years ago she purchased 2nd home she then realized payments were too much for her to handle on 2nd home she was advised to stop making payments for quite a while so she would be approved to get her payments lowered . So she did & it worked but now she is in debt for the default in loan & needs to file bankruptcy . She does not want her first home to be taken from her when she files . She wanted to tranfer it to me as I am her daughter , but I do not work my husband does have a job but he is not legal in this country . Is there anything that can be done because otherwise she will have to transfer it to her sister & brother in law if that is her last resort . Please help if there is anything that can be done to transfer her home to me … Btw we are in CA.

March 12, 2013 at 11:53 am
(317) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Libby: Your HOA might be relying on community property laws in California to make you liable, and you should probably seek legal advice to protect yourself.

March 12, 2013 at 11:55 am
(318) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Deborah: Your mother needs to ask her bankruptcy lawyer this question but I can tell you it’s not a good idea to try to deceive the federal government. It is against the law to cover up or hide assets. A lawyer can help her.

March 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm
(319) Deborah says:

Thank you for your quick response . Wow i did not know it was against the law & knowing my mom Im almost sure she doesnt either . Now another question . What is a trust deed & could that be another option ?

March 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm
(320) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

A trust deed is a document securing a promissory note that uses real property as collateral.

March 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm
(321) k.a. says:

my husband and a friend bought a MN home before we were married that is now rental property. now both guys are married, both wives own homes with just the wives on the paperwork. Guys are trying to re-fi the rental. Mortgage guy says the wives must be on the new mortg for the rental.. is that correct? I dont want 2 mortgages on my credit.

March 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm
(322) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The only reason to demand the wives sign the mortgage is if the guys can’t qualify on their own. Do they have bad credit or is one of them unemployed?

March 17, 2013 at 10:20 am
(323) Jonathan says:

My brother thinks he may be divorcing. Only his name is on the deed to his home, and he wants to quitclaim (I guess) the deed to me so that his wife does not get any part of it. He would still be on the mortgage (and there is some amount of positive equity). Without dispensing legal advice, can you give me an idea of what sort of liabilities I might expect to incur if I were to assume the deed?

March 17, 2013 at 10:36 am
(324) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Let me get this straight, you want me to give you my legal opinion without giving you a legal opinion, especially when it’s against the law for me to dispense legal advice without a law degree, AND you want to help your brother to hide marital assets from the court? I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you need to seek legal advice. I’m sorry.

March 17, 2013 at 11:34 am
(325) Jonathan says:

First, there is no court. It’s all hypothetical at this stage. Second, here’s an example of the kind of information that would have been helpful: A quitclaim deed can sometimes result in a gift-tax liability for the person to whom the property is deeded. Or this: If it occurs during the course of legal proceedings, a quitclaim deed may be overturned as fraudulent. And so forth. I’m not sure what bee flew into your bonnet, but your response was less than useless.

March 17, 2013 at 11:48 am
(326) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I am happy to do whatever I can to help my readers to understand that the homebuying guide, just like other real estate agents, can’t dispense legal advice. About.com has a legal site: law.about.com.

March 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm
(327) Amber says:

My mom and step father refinanced on thr house. When they divorced he was suppose to refinance and get the loan put only in his name. Which he did not and passed away. My mom is not on the deed but is named in the mortgage since he never refinanced. Everyone in the deed has passed away. She doesn’t want the house an hasn’t lived in it for a long time. She still wants her name off the mortgage. The house is going in foreclosed under her name. What can she do?

March 17, 2013 at 12:11 pm
(328) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Who is on title now, Amber? Did your father die intestate? Did he leave a will? Ordinarily, a person stays on a mortgage until the loan is paid off because a title transfer does not change the mortgage.

Does the home have equity? Why is the home going through foreclosure? If there is no equity, the bank might agree to do a short sale; however, since your mom is still on the loan, she would need to participate in the short sale and it will affect her credit. But either way, it might affect her credit. Your mom should talk to a lawyer.

March 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm
(329) Olivia says:

I filed for Chapter 7 last year. I repeatedly asked for a Confirmation of Debt from my mortgage company because I did not intend to abandon the house. The paperwork was never sent by the mortgage company but my attorney told me that as long as we made the payments, it was fine. I checked the county deed website today and noticed that the property was assigned to my parents during the bankruptcy, they had co-signed on the loan original loan. I have no itention of making delinquent payments but wondered what the assignment mean to my parents.

March 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm
(330) Olivia says:

I filed for Chapter 7 last year. I repeatedly asked for a Confirmation of Debt from my mortgage company because I did not intend to abandon the house. The paperwork was never sent by the mortgage company but my attorney told me that as long as we made the payments, it was fine. I checked the county deed website today and noticed that the property was assigned to my parents during the bankruptcy, they had co-signed on the loan original loan. I have no itention of making delinquent payments but wondered what the assignment mean to my parents.

March 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I have no idea, Olivia. I have never heard of a situation like this. What does your lawyer have to say about it?

March 22, 2013 at 8:22 am
(332) Miks says:

I’m a single parent in Florida with two kids and house with my name alone on the mortgage and deed. I’m planning to get married soon, as a precaution in the event that I pass away or get divorce how do I ensure that the house goes to my kids (18yrs & 26ys) and not the my soon to be husband. I’m almost done paying off the house and its the only thing I would have to give them if something happens. I’d like to prepare for the worst but hope for best. Would it be best to transfer the deed to my kids via a quit claim while still keeping only my name alone on the mortgage? what about a gifted transfer, with no monetary exchange ? Are tax implications based of those names on the deed or mortgage? Will creating a will be better option? what happens if the quit claim is recorded but notarized prior to death or divorce? Sorry, for all the questions.. :} your responses are very much appreciated.

March 22, 2013 at 9:05 am
(333) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m sorry to sound like a wet blanket but I am not allowed to give legal advice. I am prohibited as well from presenting legal scenarios as possible solutions. You should check with law.about.com or estate planning or taxes.about.com for solutions to these questions. I can tell you this, don’t just decide what to do and then do it because there could be problems and consequences to all of your choices.

March 26, 2013 at 7:38 am
(334) Joe G says:

I own a home where my ex-wife and children live. She has agreed to move out and I will be moving in. She has requested to have her name removed from the mortgage. Due to a very high LTV, I am unable to refinance at this time. Her concern is that if something were to happen on the property she could be held liable. Can I file a quit claim deed or a Bargain and Sale Deed to remove her name? Would that remove her from any liability with the property should something happen?

April 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm
(335) Laura says:

I want to ask u a question if there is alot with a hous but when that alot was buy that men was not married and died the parents of he paid the alot and made a house in it. But they never change the name of the alot but then the parent died who is the owned of it the son of the men or the the son of the parent . The son of the men never have paid taxs of it?

April 3, 2013 at 1:33 am
(336) michelr says:

I live with and share the expenses of the home we live in. The mortgage and deed is in my mothers name. How do i insure my interest in the house. She is 75 years old and her health and memory is failing. I have been paying half the mortgage for 5 years.

April 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm
(337) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It depends on whether the original owner had a Will or died intestate.

April 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm
(338) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You have no interest of record in the house. If you want your mother to deed the house to you, you need to discuss this with your mother and a competent legal advisor. Your mother can also bequeath the house to you in her Will.

April 10, 2013 at 9:00 am
(339) gail ficken says:

I have a neighbor that has a title in Florida written as her husbands name or her name. Marriage shaky. Can he change title without her signature?

April 10, 2013 at 9:10 am
(340) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t know whether Florida is a community property state but something tells me it is not. Generally speaking, if two people are on title, to sell requires a signature from both and they are notarized. That’s not to say that some unscrupulous people don’t forge signatures and bribe notaries, but that’s part of what a title policy can protect against.

April 10, 2013 at 10:15 am
(341) Jeff says:

I bought a house with my mom in 2007, I was just a co-signer or at least I thought, when we receive the taxes for that house or look up the public records for that house, my name always comes 1st. Does that mean that I am the main and my mother is the co-signer ? Thank you for your time.

April 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm
(342) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I hate to be the one to tell you this, Jeff, but there is really no such thing as a co-signer on a mortgage. There are only borrowers, and you have two borrowers: you and your mom. Two owners as well.

For reasons unknown to me, those who prepare deeds and mortgage documents often list the male’s name first when presented with a female and a male as co-owners. It’s gender-based bias and discrimination.

April 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm
(343) Tracy says:

Live in Texas. Court granted divorce decree and awarded me the house. . Original note on house was in 2007, and refinanced in 2009. I was listed as sole borrower, but husband was listed on deeds. Immediately after divorce, attorney filed a Special Warranty Deed. Under considerations, she only references the 2007 note. Further down, under Reservations from Conveyances and Exceptions to Conveyance and Warranty, it states Grantor conveys all his interest in property to me and gives the legal description. I am getting ready to sell the property and want to make sure that when the title company does a search that this deed will suffice, even though it doesn’t mention the refinance. I will not be able to get him to sign another special warranty deed. Thanks.

April 18, 2013 at 11:43 am
(344) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Texas is a “special” state when it comes to real estate laws, and even if I knew the answer, I probably could not advise you because I am not a lawyer. But I can tell you that your best bet is to call the title company to whom you wish to direct your business and ask that title department for an opinion. They might tell you. Otherwise, you could also ask the lawyer who prepared your deed.

April 18, 2013 at 1:36 pm
(345) Charles says:

Live in Louisiana, a community property state. In 2008, 2 months before I married, I made an offer on a house with my girlfriend and signed a “Louisiana Residential Agreement to Buy & Sell”, we had to counter a few times, but got the house. My girlfriend (now wife) is the only person listed on the deed and mortgage because my income put us over the cutoff to qualify for a rural development loan. We took out a 2nd mortgage to make improvements (that actually added NO value) in both of our names and signed as co-owners of the home. We are now divorcing and I would like to know other than an interest in the 50% equity that we paid during our marriage, as I obligated or entitled to anything? Since the house is not titled in my name, as I responsible for the 2nd mortgage (improvement loan) to her separate property? Did signing as co owner change the ownership or the fact that she was the only person on the deed and 1st mortgage? Can she hold me responsible for 1/2 the house for entering into the Purchase Agreement with the realtor…it was signed by all parties, including the seller?

April 18, 2013 at 1:42 pm
(346) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hello Charles: To formally change title to a piece of property, your wife would need to add your name to the deed and transfer a portion or all of the ownership to you. However, just because your name is not officially on the title, typically in a community property state, you might have an acquired interest in the property, but only a lawyer who practices law in Louisiana can give you that answer.

April 21, 2013 at 10:42 am
(347) Karen says:

My fiance and I are purchasing a house together. We are both in our late 50s with adult children. We will both be on the mortgage. How should the deed be titled? In other words shoud it be a joint and survivorship deed or is there something I’m missing?

April 21, 2013 at 12:20 pm
(348) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Yes, you are missing the part about calling a lawyer and asking for an interpretation of all the ways to hold title (and there are many) and then selecting the type that best suits your purposes and protects all of you.

April 23, 2013 at 7:52 pm
(349) Amy T says:

I’m in Michigan and in the process of assuming the mortgage on the house I bought with my husband. We are divorcing, so I’m assuming the mortgage. Will I have to pay transfer taxes?

April 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm
(350) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Sorry no idea about Michigan. In California, one spouse would quitclaim to the other through an inter spousal deed, and there would be no tax paid but I don’t know how Michigan handles these things. You should ask your lawyer.

May 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm
(351) Berna says:

Me an my husband divorced the house was left to me but his name was only one on mortgage well he claimed bankruptcy an house got forclosed but during Forclosure I got a quit claimes deed an filed it in my name because bank was trying to help me save the house an put in my name well it never happend because when ex claimed bankruptcy there was nothing to assume well a realtor called me today to tell me they need me to sign title because when they forclosed they didn’t file correctly I guess so they trying to close on the house an they can’t because I didn’t sign deed is there anything I can do to keep or what can I do do I have to sign

May 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm
(352) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should talk with a lawyer to find out if you are still in title to this property. In most states in the country, once a foreclosure is final, title goes to the bank, so I am confused as to how you are involved in any of this at all. And you might not be.

May 8, 2013 at 3:43 am
(353) Michelle says:

My husband name was the only name on our houseloan and title. When we divorced, he remained on the loan but the deed is now in my name only. He unfortunately passed away suddenly,which put the home behind in payments. I want to keep the home. Can i file bankrupcy with my name only on the deed and not on the loan?

May 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm
(354) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t understand what you are trying to do. If you are thinking that you can file BK and make the loan vanish, that will not happen. The loan is in the name of the deceased, not yours. I suggest you talk with a lawyer who can explain your rights and how to move forward.

May 9, 2013 at 1:23 am
(355) rose covarrubias says:

My questions is if a person divorces and then remarries… the new couple now buy a home. The ex has no rights to the property because the first marriage divorced and everything ends right….

May 9, 2013 at 12:26 pm
(356) elizabeth Weintraub says:

Right. But that doesn’t mean you might not need to get legal advice because it sounds like there is more going on here.

May 13, 2013 at 11:25 am
(357) Dan B. says:

Hello, My issue is my Mother passed away and still owed a Mortgage, I have 4 siblings. She left a will to equally distribute however the house went into foreclosure and now is going to auction at the court house in a week. I can pay the bank off the 26k owed on the house but if I do why should my siblings or should I say are they entitled to reap the benefits of me paying the house off. None of them can qualify for a mortgage nor have the money to pay it off. Can someone pls help.
State of Alabama.
Thank you

May 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm
(358) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If the home is going to auction, does that mean there is no equity? And if there is no equity, what difference does any of it make?

May 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm
(359) marcp says:

My mother and father just got a call about some land that was incorrectly deeded. It was my dads grandpas land and his dad has passed. They are just wondering what the deal is. Thanks

May 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm
(360) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I dunno, what do you think the deal is? Be careful with people who call you out of the blue to say you have legal problems and they can help you to fix them. Most of the time, these “helpers” are actually crooks.

You could call a local title company and inquire about the status of the recorded documents or go down to your local courthouse and get a copy of the deed. It’s public information.

May 23, 2013 at 3:16 am
(361) Becky Blue says:

Family farm in CA is in trust (mom is survivor and sister and I are in line for the farm when she passes). The property is owned outright and is in the name of the “family survivors trust”. Husband and I are looking to build a home, but are having difficulty getting financed because the land doesn’t belong to us. County suggested adding our names (via title co or attorney) to the deed with the text “for financing purposes only”, filing a PCOR with the same note of “for financing purposes only” and then once the house is complete…changing the title back to just the survivor’s trust.
Would doing this process affect the legitimacy or strength of the trust’s ownership of the land? And what, if any tax ramifications would this have on my hubby and I?

May 23, 2013 at 1:04 pm
(362) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Is there a reason to leave the land in the name of the Trust? Maybe you should speak with a lawyer about transferring title into your names and leaving it there. While you’re at it, you can ask the lawyer what would happen if you transferred title into your name and then deeded it back to the Trust. Because the lawyer would know the answer to that question.

May 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm
(363) Nesey says:

I own a house with HOA fees. They’ve taken me to court. We’ve made a payment plan. The problem is they’ve listed my parents on the suit. Their name is on the deed not the loan. How can I keep them out of this.

May 23, 2013 at 7:05 pm
(364) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You probably cannot because your parents are on title. The HOA is not concerned with how much money you owe or who is responsible for paying your mortgage. It cares about getting paid by the people who own the property. You may want to get legal advice.

June 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm
(365) Mary says:

In Texas. I got married and preowned my house. My husband wanted me to put him on the deed of the house? I still the only one on the mortgage. First of all does he now own house? And is it easybtonget him off thebdeed

June 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm
(366) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m not sure if your husband is on title. Are you saying you owned a home and then you married and put your husband on title? If so, he is on title to your home, along with you. If you want to remove him, he will need to sign a deed. You should seek legal advice.

June 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm
(367) Kelly says:

My ex and I bought a home together 14 years ago. We divorced, and I signed deed over to him to help in refinance on his own income. He just sold house… profit is about 150K. Am I entitled to half of profit? Our divorce papers stated 50/50 share.

June 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm
(368) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If your divorce settlement says you are to split the profits of sale, then you might have to submit a demand to the escrow or settlement agent to pay you.

However, because you are not on title, your ex might have temporarily forgotten about this agreement, and you may need to remind him. It is generally better to stay on title to make sure you get paid. If he refuses to comply, you may need to contact a lawyer.

June 13, 2013 at 11:20 pm
(369) quieting the title says:

purchased property in MD 2005. added sister 2008. sister never lived in the house nor paid any mortgage. had been insisting to have name off mortgage and when mortgage asks for quitclaim deed, she refuses to sign. at this time unable to locate her. Can I file a Motion to Quiet Title to get title in my name and move forward with loan modification and/or refinance. house currently in foreclosure status and bank has approved modification but the hold up had been no quiet title for co-borrower

June 14, 2013 at 5:26 pm
(370) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Yes, you should probably hire a lawyer and move forward with your quiet title action. Wouldn’t it be less expensive, though, to find your sister and get her signature notarized?

June 18, 2013 at 1:46 am
(371) Shelle says:

My mom owns a condo in Nevada & several years ago she quick deeded me onto the title with her. Her thinking was that should anything happen to her, it would be easier for me to sell & divide any profit up with my siblings. Subsequently, the condo is now worth very little and she is upside down in it. I just found out that she hasn’t made a payment for 9 months & plans to let the bank take it from her. She claims, as an escrow officer for many years, that this is no different than a short sale when it comes to her credit, so, she is banking her monthly mortgage payments in preparation for when she will need to pay for a move & rent something.
I am not on the mortgage and as a married woman in a community property state at the time I signed the quick deed documents, my husband also signed a document which released any interest of his in the property as my spouse.
My question is… If anything happens to her before the foreclosure am I responsible for her debt on the property? And will the lien holder on the property have any recourse to come after me for what she owes during or after the foreclosure proceedings?

June 18, 2013 at 11:17 am
(372) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I would say most likely you are at no risk because you are not on the loan, and you probably can’t be held responsible for a debt that you did not assume. But you should legal advice to be safe. You might want to consider deeding back to her.

Also, your mom is not exactly correct about the way foreclosures on a record are viewed as opposed to a short sale. With a short sale, she could qualify to buy again in 2 years vs. up to 7 with a foreclosure.

June 23, 2013 at 11:04 am
(373) Chels says:

Getting ready to go through a divorce, Our house was originally in just my name but when we refinanced , I had to ad my husband for mortgage purposes . There is a clause on the deed which states that he remise and releases his rights of the premises . What does that exactly mean. It is a General Deed with survivorship .

June 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm
(374) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Remise means to give up any claim and release means the same thing; however, as to what it means in your particular situation, a lawyer is your best source of information.

June 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm
(375) Rogelio says:

Question: I purchase a house from my inlaws in 2009. They have been staying in the house I purchase since 2009. Now that my mother in law dided they want the house back. I have a general warranty title with my name on it. He claims that he don’t remember signing the documentso, they got a lawyer. I have paid taxes, insurance since then.
What can I do?

June 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(376) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Go to lunch? Because maybe the lawyer will decide to do nothing. Until there is action taken, nothing will happen.

If it would give you peace of mind, you could visit a lawyer — take a copy of your recorded and notarized deed. Your deed is notarized and recorded, right? People can sue for just about anything.

June 26, 2013 at 1:27 am
(377) KT says:

My mom was on my house deed because I deployed and on my mortgage as we were not sure the house would close in time. She had a trust and my house was not included in the trust She also left a letter saying that she had never put any money into the house. Now I m being told it has to go into the trust.as they are considering that she owns 50 percent The bank has already marked her deceased on my mortgage and has told me to simply refinance the mortgage if I want just my name on it. If it wasn’t in the trust to start with how can they put it after she died

June 26, 2013 at 6:14 pm
(378) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

A trust can’t acquire a property that wasn’t deeded to it. Did your mother die? If you held title as joint tenants, her share passed to you, most likely, after her death. I can’t see any benefit to having your name solely on the mortgage. Why can’t you leave things the way they are? Who is telling you to deed her share to the trust? Have you spoken to a lawyer because agents can’t give you legal advice, so I can’t give you legal advice.

June 28, 2013 at 3:10 am
(379) kellie says:

I’m married, live in Louisiana a community property state, If my dad deeds property to me is that property considered mine or is it jointly mine and my husbands? This is family land and I want to make sure the land stays in our family always. In case of divorce or death I don’t want my husband’s children to be able to take the land.

June 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm
(380) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I imagine a lawyer would advise you to obtain a quitclaim deed from your husband releasing any interest he may have or may acquire in that property, but only a lawyer can tell you if that action is required in your state.

July 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm
(381) exmsp says:

my husband and I brought our house in 2001 ,he was court order out in 2008 and divorced in 2011, i live and the house order by judge for the next five years my name is only on deed of trust,what can i do to stay in my house ,talk of foreclosure and he wants to sale and I don’t,what can i do to save my home?

July 1, 2013 at 6:11 pm
(382) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m having a hard time following you. When a person gets older, this can happen. :)

I suspect you mean your name is on the deed only, right? And both of your names are on the deed of trust, I imagine. So, if the home is in your name, your ex-husband can’t do anything.

If you are having problems making your mortgage payments, why don’t you ask your mortgage lender to modify your mortgage? If you are behind in your payments, cannot make them up and the lender will not work with you, you might have to consider a short sale. Best of luck to you.

July 1, 2013 at 11:03 pm
(383) Nancy W says:

I refinanced my home to get my ex husbands name off and my daughter co-signed and her name is on the note and mortgage. I recently had to file bankruptcy and told the lawyer and trustee that I owned the home with my daughter – only to find out when we pulled the deed that only my name was on it. So this messes up the exemption for the case as we would each be entitled to $15K and the equity in my home would be safe.

Should the mortgage company have recorded the deed with both our names and can I remedy this situation?

July 3, 2013 at 11:25 am
(384) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I have seen lenders make loans with and without title in all the names of the individuals who signed. If you have a question about the title of your home, you might want to talk to a lawyer about it.

Moreover, if you are filing bankruptcy, you might want to find out whether the mortgage company can go after your daughter, since her name is on the mortgage with you.

July 7, 2013 at 2:05 am
(385) Dean says:

If I use a quitclaim deed and add my name to my fathers deed to his property, keeping his name on the deed also, Will i then be able to get a house loan to build on the property and will it be immediately?

July 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm
(386) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Depends on how good your father’s credit is and how your credit stacks up when you both apply for the loan.

July 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm
(387) Robert says:

My dad bought a home in Kansas in June of 2012 and transferred the property over to me via a grant deed. The real estate agent said no one could take the property for any kind of debt as long as it was not pre-meditated. One year later he has fallen in the shower and was required to go to the hospital and not is in a SNF and is seeking help from the state to pay for it, The State is saying they can take the home even if it was no pre-meditated. do you know what the law would be on this?


July 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm
(388) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t know how anyone can seize or make a claim against a property a person does not own. There is something missing. You should talk to a lawyer. Also, your real estate agent should not be handing out legal advice unless that agent is licensed to do so.

July 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm
(389) Robin says:

My husband bought a small moble home for his mother in PA years ago and the deed has always been in his name.His mother died June 2012.
His nephew helped take care of his mother so when she died he signed the deed over to him.But this year when property taxes were due they sent him the bill.We found out he never changed the name on the title when he said he had. My husband paid the taxes and his nephew said he would get the name changed.Well we just got a school district tax bill in.I have two questions,#1 should we be receiving this tax bill if he had changed the names on the deed, #2 how do you find OU IF someone changed the names on a deed when you live out of state….. besides having to travel 700 miles.
Thank you any help you can give us will be appreciated.

July 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm
(390) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Generally, when a deed is signed, notarized and delivered to an individual, that individual records it in the public records. Without a public notice, the entities that tax the property might not know where to send the tax bill. You could call the county courthouse where the deed would have been recorded or you could also ask a title insurance company to look it up for you. They might charge you a small fee, but it would probably be worth it to you.

July 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm
(391) Ashlie G. says:

My husband bought a home in his name alone. I am not on the deed/title at all. I don’t care, I have a home in my name alone as well, that I now rent. We live in the home that my husband owns. He has not paid the HOA fee, he is upset with how it is managed. Now they are suing us for the fee. Can they sue me as well? Even if I am not on the mortgage? I am not listed on anything at all. But I do use this as my legal address. Also, can they come after our adult age/college age children that live here as well?

The property is in Indiana.


July 16, 2013 at 1:49 pm
(392) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

No idea, I am not a lawyer — logic would say no, but then some states have odd laws.

Why don’t you tell your husband that withholding payment of an HOA fee is not the same thing as withholding payment of rent, and they can file a lien against him, plus foreclose. If he’s that upset about the HOA, join the board or move elsewhere. But for crying out loud, don’t stop paying your HOA dues in contempt. That accomplishes nothing.

July 22, 2013 at 10:10 am
(393) Sherri says:

My husband and I purchased a mobile home outright for my mother. We sold stock and took out a line of credit on our home to get the cash. We had to put her on the title as it was a over 55 mobile park. She is now on medicaid. Since we bought the home and have proof, does she still get 1/3 of the profit from the sale even though she never paid for the home. She did sign the lease and make the property rental payments.

July 22, 2013 at 10:39 am
(394) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hey, are you kicking your mother into the street? Where is your mother moving to if you sell the mobile home? You should probably talk to a lawyer. I believe Medicaid has income / asset limits for your mom to qualify.

Generally, people who borrow money to buy an asset secure the asset so they can be repaid, or they work out an agreement to sell when the time comes. It sounds like you rushed into this without seeking legal advice or thinking ahead.

Logic says if Peter, Paul and Mary buy a home, even if only Mary pays for it, Peter and Paul are still entitled to the benefits and future profits. However, if Mary records a lien for the amount she initially paid, she gets paid that lien amount first when the home is sold, and then the remaining profits are distributed.

July 24, 2013 at 3:40 pm
(395) Wendy D says:

My mom died and left the house to us girls. It’s been over a year and we are just now looking to get the deed in our name. It is paid in full. How do we get the deed in our name? Thanks in advance.

July 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm
(396) F Gutheil says:

I DO have the ORIGINAL deed from the Chippewa Indians to my great uncle regarding an island in Canada hanging on my wall. My grandmother, suffering from dementia, decided to sell that island which my great uncle gave to her and her new husband as a wedding present. The mortgage was cleared when I was about 5 I believe.

So, back to my grandmother, she has passed away, and it was a few years after “selling” the island. In the deed it states that the land is to be returned to the Chippewa First Nation if no relatives or heirs of Uncle Wally’s are surviving. But guess what…I am! Ok, problem being grandmother undersold the island and the current owner(only other to own it beside family) seems to think that having a “new” deed drawn up takes precedence over the original one.

I say it doesn’t. Think about it, can you sell a car with title that has none of the original wording stated in the title?

July 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm
(397) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

The Chippewa most likely did not have title to the land to deed to you because Native Americans originally owned the land outright. It was the United States Patent that established granting rights, and that is evidenced from the chain of title originating from the United States Patent forward, after the United States acquired the land by stealing it or bargaining for it from the Chippewa Indians.

If you feel you have claim to a parcel of land, you need to talk with a real estate lawyer to determine your rights.

July 24, 2013 at 6:03 pm
(398) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Wendy: It would depend how your mom held on title. You should check with the probate lawyer to get the deed in your name.

July 31, 2013 at 2:31 pm
(399) adrian says:

8 yrs ago I became owner of a property or so I thought I recorded it and went through all the legal hoops only to find out that now my mother who had legal ownership of it after her husband died never transferred it into her name. even though she paid off the existing mrtg. now even though I went through informal probate and paid all the delinquent hoa fees it is still ( per the title co,.) not mine . now I have to track down step brother and sister to get there signature to make it mine . I have both parents wills and death certifacates ive done all the foot work and paid almost 30,000 over 8yrs to keep property up ect. any advice

July 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm
(400) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If you have not yet spoken to a probate lawyer, that is probably your next step and might have saved you $30K over the years. How did your father hold title? If both your father and mother held title as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, after your father passed away, title automatically passes to the other joint tenant without recordation. A title company will most likely require a copy of the certified death certificate and affidavit of Joint Tenant to transfer title. If your father was on title alone, you might need legal help, as I don’t know of any procedure called “informal” probate.

August 1, 2013 at 8:06 pm
(401) Kathryn says:

I am listed as a survivor on my mothers deed and she is refinancing her home loan. I have been told that I am required to sign a truth in lending as well as a right to cancel agreement. Will I be responsible for the mortgage if she cannot pay the loan while she is still alive?

August 1, 2013 at 8:12 pm
(402) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I have not heard of this kind of arrangement, but I don’t know how every state operates. What is a survivor on a deed? Are you talking about a joint tenant? If you are a joint tenant, you are responsible for the home and any encumbrances you sign, and you might want to check with a lawyer before moving forward.

August 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm
(403) Chrissy says:

My ex and I got a divorce about 3 years ago. The property we lived at together had the deed in both our names, but the loan was only in my name. I filed for bankruptcy shortly after the divorce and the home was awarded to me, but the bank still reports on my credit for the debt of the house and still contacts me in an attempt to make good the loan. I want to do a deed in lieu of foreclosure as I have discovered they are dragging their feet with the foreclosure and it will continue to affect my credit until this matter is resolved, even though my debt was absolved in the bankruptcy. The problem is that I cannot get in contact with my ex to get him to do a quick claim deed so I can get his name off the deed and proceed with a deed in lieu. Is there some way I proceed with a quick claim deed without his signature? Do I have to prove that I cannot locate him?

August 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm
(404) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I suggest you contact a lawyer and perhaps start a Quiet Title Action.

August 5, 2013 at 11:28 pm
(405) justine says:

my uncle added my name to his home trust deed. his home is free and clear. he is not married and wanted to give me this home. I have decided not to take it. anyways, what do I have to do to take my name off the deed. do I quitclaim and do we both have to go together to do the quitclaim or I can just do it myself? thanks so much.

August 6, 2013 at 11:40 am
(406) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

To make sure this is done correctly, you should get professional legal advice. A single person can quitclaim to remove that person from title.

August 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm
(407) Garrett says:

I received an inheritance. I purchased a home cash. My wife signed a Transfer Grant Deed and was notarized. We want to continue to be married. The question is this: If she lives with me in my purchased home, can she turn around one day and ask for half of the home in a divorce, especially because living with me creates an “interest.” We live in northern CA.

August 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm
(408) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

A woman scorned is not to be messed with, Garrett. As you point out, California is a community property state. Do you have a post-nup?

September 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm
(409) mellissas says:

my former husband never took my name off our mortgage’s he re married and recently I signed loan modification papers with him am I still responsible for mortgage and does his current wife have any rights to the properties?

September 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm
(410) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Why did you sign loan modification papers for a home you no longer live in? As long as your name remains on that mortgage, the lender will most likely hold you responsible for the payment of that loan.

As to whether your ex-husband’s wife has an interest in any of his properties, that would depend on your state laws and also whether he adds her to the title.

October 7, 2013 at 7:00 am
(411) wade says:

ok so im in a ten year contract with the guy im renting to own my house from and he has almost the same contract with the original owner but he has a warranty deed he has filed for bankruptcy chapt 13 and told me he will quit change the deed over to me and I can take over payments my question is can he legally do this or will I get screwed out of my house really need to know o your opinions asap he is wanting an answer is there a better deed in general I could do also I live in Dothan al I am not looking for legal advice just opinions and suggestions every reply will be greatly appreciated

October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am
(412) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

My opinion is you should see a lawyer because there is no way to know if any of the contracts were properly prepared or recorded, not to mention, the property might not be excluded from the Chapter 13. Don’t look for free advice on the Internet from non-lawyers. You should talk to a lawyer.

October 7, 2013 at 11:10 am
(413) wade says:

he did claim them in his bankruptcy I don’t have the money to consult with a attorney so I will take what opinions and suggestions I can get thank you for you reply though I know the deed was recorded correctly I have it here now my contract on the other hand may not be complete

October 11, 2013 at 11:55 pm
(414) Zondra says:

Party A buys a home with cash and puts it solely in Party B’s name, Whose home is it and dose party A have legal right to take said home from party B?

October 12, 2013 at 11:58 am
(415) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Generally speaking, Party B, the person in title, owns the property. However, Party A could possibly claim an interest and sue for it. You should talk to a lawyer if you have legal questions about Party A and Party B.

November 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm
(416) Fred says:

A husband gets his motherís house willed to him. He then Quit Claims his wife to the property. If he passes away does the house go to the wife? The wife is not on the current reverse Mortgage. They have been married over 10 years.

November 23, 2013 at 9:08 pm
(417) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean by quit claims his wife. Did you quitclaim the property to your wife? If you did, she probably owns it now. Do you have a reverse mortgage? You should probably see a probate lawyer to determine how to give a home to your wife or prevent her from making a claim after your death, whichever it is you intend to do.

February 7, 2014 at 10:20 pm
(418) Melissa says:

My husband and I have purchased 2 homes together. I signed 1 in my maiden name because I hadn’t changed my DL yet. And we signed papers on the other home in my married name. If something happened to either of us would we still be titled to both properties?

February 8, 2014 at 11:05 am
(419) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You are still the same person. What’s probably more important is the manner in which you hold title. For example, before you were married, you might hold title together as tenants in common. A property acquired after marriage might hold title as community property, depending on the laws in your state and, in which case, title would most likely not transfer to the other upon death. These are confusing issues for most people, which is why you should get legal advice.

February 15, 2014 at 4:13 am
(420) mandy says:

My husband and I are contemplating buying our first house together. I currently am a stay at home mom, but I am going to get back to work within the next year. My husband claims that I need to sign a quit claim deed essentially giving him sole rights to any future property. I am suspecting that this is not normal request and that my husband is going I’d go along with this so should we ever divorce I won’t get anything, what do you think, should I sign or flat out refuse.

February 15, 2014 at 10:20 am
(421) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

While I certainly cannot give you legal advice — because the lawyers would all swoop down on me — I can say it is normal to sign a quitclaim deed or interspousal deed where I work in California if one of the parties cannot qualify for the loan due to bad credit. However, the fact that you suspect your husband is trying to cheat you out of an asset is more troubling. Is he? I don’t know. Maybe. Why would you buy a house with a person you don’t trust? Are you ordinarily this suspicious or is it just him and, moreover, can you fix that through counseling? Those are the questions I’d ask myself if I were in your shoes.

February 15, 2014 at 12:50 pm
(422) mandy says:

I appreciate your prompt reply. However, I do not have bad credit, but I am not currently working. My husband’s ex took him to the cleaners and I am guessing he wants to ensure that I wont be able to do the same. His requesting I sign this deed has shocked me and makes me question the state of our relationship. It is not I who is suspicious, it is my husband who is not trusting. He wants to buy a house for tax purposes and to save on rental costs. Will I be able to be added to the mortgage or title at a later stage?

February 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm
(423) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

While I can’t give you legal advice, I can share with you that when my husband was transferred to California and we bought our home, we obtained a conventional loan with both of our names on the deed and mortgage, and I was unemployed at the time. The lender relied on both of our credit reports but only my husband’s income to qualify us. To the best of my knowledge, married individuals with good credit can get a loan even if only one of them is employed. However, you can never be “added” to a mortgage without refinancing the loan. Although you can be added to the title, providing your husband chooses to add you and the lender has no objections. You should talk to your bank or a local mortgage loan officer about this. It is possible your husband is confused.

February 18, 2014 at 6:38 pm
(424) joe says:

my husband passed away…my name is on the deed and his was not……….is his family entitled to anything?……again my name is on the home not his..plse answer asap..as i was told today his family is trying to get my home..

February 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm
(425) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Hi Joe: You need a lawyer to answer your question. I don’t know the laws in all 50 states and, even if I did, I am not a lawyer. I will say this, if you own the property, it will be fairly difficult for somebody else to take it away from you as long as you take care of it. That’s not to say the deceased did not acquire some sort of interest in the home during the time you were married. This is why you really need to ask a lawyer. In California, for example, which is a community property state, if a husband signed an interspousal deed or a quitclaim deed, clearing title for his wife as her sole and separate property, family members would have a really hard time in court trying to prove that they were entitled to anything but it also doesn’t mean they wouldn’t try. People be weird when money is involved.

February 19, 2014 at 11:15 am
(426) Dennis Powell says:

Sold small home in Georgia for 20,000, I live in California. How can I transfer warranty deed to new owner without being present in Georgia? How much transfer tax should I expect to pay if any in Georgia for the sale of this property?

February 20, 2014 at 10:06 am
(427) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You can notarize a deed in California that you will record in Georgia. It is generally a good idea to record your deed. You should call the county assessor or county clerk’s office in the county in Georgia where the property is located. They can tell you if there is a transfer fee and how to send the deed for recordation.

February 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm
(428) Ashley says:

Father and mother were married and has children, The mother passed away 19yrs ago and left behind the children and father. Now he has the property in his name only. He is also dating and has her living in the home with her, does she have any right to this property or will it automatically be given to the children?

February 20, 2014 at 3:43 pm
(429) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

It most likely depends on your state laws and the father’s will. In community property states, married individuals can sometimes acquire an interest in the property even though they are not on the deed. The children might want to ask the father if he has written a will and perhaps seek legal advice. It’s always a good idea to get legal advice in matters like this as wills can also be contested.

March 2, 2014 at 9:48 pm
(430) Rodney7777 says:

Our friend Marcy was recently widowed. Her bank wants a warranty deed
for their house. I assume it is because they want Marcy to be on the deed now. I remember filling out and filling a warranty deed all by myself and I remember it as being not too difficult.

March 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm
(431) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I don’t know why the bank would want a new deed, doesn’t make sense. The names on the mortgage do not change just because one of the parties is deceased, even if you do change the deed.

March 3, 2014 at 10:45 am
(432) Jay says:

If a quit claim deed has been signed for a property that is in a different county than where the owners live, which county is it recorded in?

If it is not recorded, does the person who signed the property over still have a legal responsibility for the debt?

If it is not recorded and it is sold, does the person who signed the property over have a legal right to share in the proceeds?

March 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm
(433) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Deeds should be recorded in the county where the property is located. Not recording a deed does not necessarily make it invalid but it generally does not provide constructive notice otherwise. Quitclaim deeds do not govern who is responsible for the mortgage, the names on the mortgage remain regardless of who is in title. Sounds like you need to get legal advice.

March 9, 2014 at 12:48 am
(434) linda paslay says:

I refinanced our home eight years ago. My husband had no credit so the loan was put in my name only. He sighned off from deed and title. We separated for a few years and he stayed in home and made payment.we are now living together again and I put him on the title. We ha e been married 37 years.If we divorce is he entitled to full community property.I put quite a large sum into home recently updating it.This was inherited money and out of my own individual bank account. If the house is sold what is he entitled to as far as money I put into the home and him being on title only?

March 9, 2014 at 10:46 am
(435) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

Why-oh-why-oh did you put him on title if you did not want to equally share the equity in the home with him? He’s a co-owner in some form (did you give him 50%?), and you might need to discuss this situation with your (potential) lawyer. Plus, if the home went into foreclosure, it would be YOUR credit destroyed, not his. However, if this is an amicable sale you’re contemplating, whatever the two of you can agree upon will prevail.

March 18, 2014 at 2:22 pm
(436) Sharon-frustrated says:

Hi, question, my mom passed away and left her fully paid off house to her three children.. But we haven’t transferred title/deed.. I am going to buy the house from my siblings with some of my inheritance and use as a rental.. Since we haven’t transferred anything we are at wits end to find out what to do… My mom has a warranty deed (it was a new home and development). So we need to do a quick claim deed to me.. Do we need to change the warranty deed to the estate name and then quick claim to me? Or can we just do a quick claim to me from warranty deed. We live in GA.

March 18, 2014 at 2:28 pm
(437) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You need to ask a lawyer to help you to transfer title in Georgia. It is too late to put the title into the name of the estate. It should have already been in the name of the estate, most likely. And maybe it is. Ordinarily, the trustee of the trust would deed the home to you. But I do not know the inner workings of probate law in Georgia except that lawyers tend to handle these matters.

March 20, 2014 at 6:43 pm
(438) Andrea says:

I live in CA my husband and I purchased a town home after we married, but I am not on the deed. My husband and his father are. Also my father inlaw is holding the mortgage. If my husband passesaway before his father what claim do I have to our home?

March 20, 2014 at 7:14 pm
(439) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You would have a much easier time proving that you own the home or are entitled to equity if you are on the deed because California community property laws generally require a court to enforce. You should ask a lawyer about this.

March 23, 2014 at 10:21 am
(440) gene erdmann says:

My wife passed away 5t years ago and has two surviving daughters (my step daughters) I live in the house but am now selling it. I have a judgement against me but my name is not on the deed. As per probate I have the right to always live there but the two daughters are on the deed. Upon selling we all get a share plus I get reimbursed for all the probate expenses. Since my name is not on the deed can the judgement against me still be taken out of proceeds? I live in Minnesota

March 23, 2014 at 11:04 am
(441) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should talk with a probate lawyer in Minnesota. Typically, judgments affect things of public record. If you’re not on title, it might not affect you, but a probate lawyer could tell you if a judgment can be collected against the estate.

March 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm
(442) Ariel says:

My mom gave me money to purchase a condo 10 years ago, and my name alone is on the mortgage, and at the closing, they added my 2 siblings to the Deed. I was married at the time, and my husband’s name was never put on the deed. If we sell our home, are my siblings entitled to any monies earned by the sale of the home, and if they are,. would they have to go to court to get the monies.

March 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm
(443) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

If your siblings are on your deed, you can’t sell without their cooperation.

March 27, 2014 at 10:37 am
(444) Ken says:

I own a lot that I want a house built on. I have agreed with the builder on the type of house. The builder has informed me that I need to sign a quitclaim deed for my property to him so he can build on it. He states he cannot build on property he does not own. This builder is well known in the area and I am sure he is not trying initiate fraud. Is this common practice? What if I were to die after signing the document? Would my family have any right to the property

March 27, 2014 at 10:55 am
(445) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

I can’t tell you what to do, but this sounds bizarre. I would find another builder.

April 23, 2014 at 3:29 pm
(446) leslie lelaind says:

Hi, my mother has lived in her home in Arkansas for ten years now. She’s been paying her mortgage faithfully. I moved her to be close to her and build a home on two of her ten acres. What steps should we take…quitclaim deed? Any advice would be awesome!
My credit is fair but I can bring it up.

April 23, 2014 at 6:33 pm
(447) Elizabeth Weintraub says:

You should talk to a real estate lawyer before you do anything. For starters, it’s possible that you can’t split those 10 acres. In addition, you might not be able to legally build on it or the structure you plan to construct might not meet code. Plus, putting a new structure on the property could violate the terms of your mother’s mortgage.

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