If 3 people are on a deed, can the person who holds the mortgage sell the house?

4 people, a married couple who are now divorced and a married couple who, one has passed away bought a house. The mortgage is in the name of the second couple. Can the house be sold by the mortgage holder?

Asked on September 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, a property can only be sold by all parties who are on the deed. A mortage is not determinative as to who can sell or otherwise transfer ownership of a property. That having been said, when co-owners cannot agree as to ownership matters, any owner can go to court and request that a judge either order a "partition" of the property if it is capable of being divided, if it isn't, then it can order that the property be sold (although first, any owner who wants to keep the property can buy out the other owners). 

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