Will Quitclaim Deed Remove Ex-Spouse from Mortgage?

Q: My ex-spouse will sign a quitclaim deed to me on the house we lived in. Will that quitclaim deed remove her name from the mortgage? Her name is not on the loan promissory note but she did sign on the mortgage document. How can I remove her name from the mortgage document without refinancing the loan?

A: With interest rising to heights last seen nearly 25 years ago, not refinancing seems to be the thing on everyone’s mind.

Ex-spouse’s name will always show up on recorded mortgage

We’ve received several comments similar to yours over the past few months. Let’s start by saying that your name and your ex-spouse’s name will always show up on the filed or recorded mortgage document. Her name will still show up on the records for the property even if you refinance the loan and pay off the original mortgage.

What’s important? Making sure you are the sole owner of the home. One way to do that is to use a quitclaim deed.

Quitclaim deed from ex-spouse to you makes you sole owner of home

A quitclaim deed is a document that transfers any interest that the person signing the document has to the other person named in the deed. So, if your ex-spouse signs the quitclaim deed and the documents were properly drafted, once the deed is recorded you’ll be the sole owner of the home. At that point, your ex-spouse will no longer be on the property’s title.

Having said that, you mentioned that you signed the promissory note with the lender. This means that you are the only borrower on the loan responsible for the repayment of the debt. However, the lender would require all owners to sign the mortgage.

Promissory note is different from a mortgage

What’s the difference? The promissory note note is the document that evidences the obligation to repay a debt. The mortgage is the document that gives the lender the right to use the property as collateral and security for the repayment of the debt. So, if you and your ex-spouse were on the title to the home when you took out the mortgage, the two of you had to sign the mortgage document.

Quitclaim deed would not remove ex-spouse from loan

But this does not mean that your ex-spouse was on the loan. This only means that your wife signed the mortgage to give the lender the right to foreclose on the property should you fail to pay the mortgage loan payments.

We suspect that all the correspondence from your lender comes to your name only and shows you as the sole borrower under the loan. With that in mind, we don’t think there is anything you need to do. Once you get full title to the property, the home will be in your name alone. Rest assured that when it comes to the loan, you are the only borrower.

Read more about quitclaim deeds:

How Does A Quitclaim Deed Work?

Quit Claim Deed and Mortgage Responsibility: Getting Name Off Mortgage

What Happens When a Will and a Quitclaim Deed Conflict?

Using a Quitclaim Deed to Avoid Taxes


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