My house is in foreclosure but there’s equity when we sell it my wife says she gets all the money because she’s on the deed but not the mortgage I live in New York is this true

My house is in foreclosure in New York but
there’s equity that we can sell it my wife for
now says she get all that’s left because she’s
on the deed but not the mortgage is this true

Asked on September 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Who is on the deed and when was the house bought?
If only your wife and she bought the house pre-marriage, she is correct: if only she is on the deed, then a pre-marriage property (and the money from it) is hers alone since it is separate, not marital, property.
If both you and she, then as co-owners, you split any equity.
If only her on the deed but she bought the house post-marriage, then if you were to divorce, a court would likely consider the equity--which is from property bought while she was married--to be property of both of you and divided in the divorce; but only in a divorce would a court come into play in this case and have the authority to do this. Typically, an assets acquire during marriage, regardless of name they are titled in, are things that both spouses have a claim to.

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