Q: Ten years ago, I bought a home with a friend. He refinanced about 5 years ago and got a new mortgage loan solely in his name. I am still on the title as joint tenant.
I want to move out and buy a single family home by myself. Will a quit claim deed be enough to release me from the title and any other financial obligations to this home?
A: You may use a quit claim deed to transfer any ownership interest you have in the property to your co-owner. But if you are still listed on a mortgage or home equity loan that hasn’t been paid off, you would still be liable for it. A quit claim deed will transfer your ownership interest in the home to your friend, but if you signed any other document that making you liable for payments, the quit claim deed will not terminate your responsibility under that other document.
Here’s the question: If you’ve lived in the space for 10 years and contributed time, energy and cash toward it, will you receive something for your ownership share? If you want some of the cash back that you’ve put into the property, now would be the time to ask for it, before you sign away your ownership interests. If you never contributed to the home and you have always treated the home as your friend’s home and you are fine walking away from the home, then you can transfer title to your friend and move on. But don’t expect to receive any payments from your friend down the road if your friend sells the home.
Please talk to a real estate attorney for details on how to create a document that would sever your financial and ownership interests in the property in exchange for consideration.
Jan. 19, 2009.