What is my financial obligation if name is only on deed to house but not the mortgage loan?

My boyfriend and I moved into a house with my 2 kids. The mortgage loan is under his name but we are both on the title to the house. We are separating and I have decided to move my kids and myself into an apartment. He is telling me that he wants me to continue to help pay for the house after I move out because it is our house. I can’t afford rent for an apartment and half of the mortgage here. Am I under any financial obligations to help him pay for the house after we move out if my name is only on the title? We never signed any type of contract that says that I would continue to pay half of the bills if I moved out. He is capable of making the payments or having his friends move into the house with him to help cover the costs. He says that he wants to sell the house if I’m not going to stay here and that I have to continue to help pay costs while it’s on the market. Is there any obligation financially for me here?

Asked on July 8, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A mortgage is a contract, between the borrower(s) and the lender. Like with any other contract, it only binds or obligates those who sign the mortgage/contract, so if you are not a party to the mortgage (that is, you are not a signatory to it; your name is not on it), you have no legal obligation to pay the mortgage. If the mortgage is not paid--so if your ex-boyfriend either cannot pay it on his own or refuses to pay it--the bank can foreclose and take the house, but it can't come after you for the money if you are not on the mortgage. So potentially, if you don't help him pay, you could lose the house--of course, if you don't live there and are not counting on the equity from the home, you may not care if that happens.
If he does not lose the home and does sell it, it is possible that if he, and not you, continued to pay the "carrying costs" for the home, that he may be entitled to a larger share of any proceeds to reflect his greater contributions, but again, depending on your situation and expectations, that may not be an issue.


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