My girlfriend countersigned my mortgage. I paid the mortgage for 4 years, plus a $125,000 down payment. She paid the utilities. Now she wants half

Dear Quinten,

Four years ago I was downsizing and building a house while I still had a hefty mortgage on my first house. I couldn’t get the loan on my own until the other house was sold.

I applied for the mortgage with my girlfriend. I had a $125,000 down payment and paid the monthly mortgage, along with property taxes. She pays the utilities.

Needless to say, things aren’t going well and I’d like her to leave. She wants half the value of the house, since her name is on the mortgage.

Is she entitled to half the value? Can I refinance without her knowing? I think I smoked myself. Please help.

homeowner

You can email The Moneyist with financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com, and follow Quentin Fottrell at Twitter.

Dear home owner,

There are a few scenarios here. If your girlfriend is on both the deed of the house and the mortgage — a situation most mortgage lenders prefer — then she co-owns the house, regardless of whether she paid the monthly mortgage or contributed to a down payment. If she is only co-signer of the mortgage, but not added to the deed of the house, she is essentially guarantor.

“If your name is on the deed before your spouse signed the mortgage, normally the bank can only seize your spouse’s share of the home,” he said. Law Firms in Cairns in Erie, Dad. “Generally, [if] if your name is on the deed of the house, then you have an interest in it. The bank cannot levy an attachment because you have not transferred your interest to the bank. This means you still own your share of the property.”


As it stands, she has taken on all the risks of paying off the loan, but none of the benefits of owning the house.

“Most mortgage companies will not mortgage just one spouse if the deed is already in both names,” the company adds. “The mortgage company will not want to have any problems getting their money back if your spouse defaults on the loan. The lender will most likely want all the owners to sign the mortgage or they won’t give the loan to any of the owners.

You are not married, so there is no community of property. As it stands, she has taken on all the risks of paying off the loan, but none of the benefits of owning the house. You can refinance your loan if your credit and income are sufficient, and provide all required tax documents and W-2, plus the appraisal, application, and attorney fees. Mortgage rates are still at a record low, so you’re likely to get a better interest rate.

In situations like this, it’s always better to be direct, candid, and non-confrontational. It’s unlikely you could do this without your girlfriend’s knowledge, especially since co-signer influences her credit score.

As long as she is on the mortgage and not on the deed, she will remain in a vulnerable financial position. It is in her interest to get herself out of the loan if/when that becomes possible.

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