How do I legally sell my residence if Im not on title?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I legally sell my residence if Im not on title?

Background- I want to sell my home, but my spouse
is the only one on title. We bought the home together
in 2006. He left years ago and is residing in another
country and hasnt been heard of since. Ive been
maintaining the home by myself. He does not want to
be found so I have no way of getting in contact with
him. What are my options? Note- the home is
currently in preforeclosure

Asked on December 11, 2017 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It's not your residence to sell if you are not on the title: only those on the title are owners. You have certain rights to it and any equity from it through marriage, which you could get in family court--that is, in a divorce--and in a divorce, you could possibly get a court order requiring its sale; but without such a court order, you have no right to sell it. You are, as stated, not an owner if not on the title; your only rights in or to come from your marriage and therefore must be adjudicated in family court, in the context of a divorce.
If your spouse has left for another country and is not in contact with you, you probably should be strongly considering divorce anyway: that will separate you legally from a person you are physically and apparently emotionally already separate from, so that you will not be responsible for any actions of his or debts he incurs, and so you can get your share of marital or family assets.
If you don't want to divorce, if you are not on the mortgage, you should be able to just "walk away" from the home: if you are not on the mortgage, you would not be responsible for it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption