How do I remove my ex-boyfriend from the deed to my house?

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How do I remove my ex-boyfriend from the deed to my house?

I purchased a home 17 years ago. The mortgage is in my name only. I assigned my partner’s name to the deed but our relationship went bad 9 years ago. He left. I haven’t and shouldn’t see him again. I understand a quit claim but the chances of finding him and having him sign it are nil. My home will be paid off in 36 months. After payoff, can I remove him from the deed? Again, he isn’t on the mortgage. Or can I refinance the remainder of the loan to remove him? There are lots of novice answers on the web but I’m not sure which way to go. He doesn’t know he’s on the deed or at least the thinks he’s already been removed. What can I do?

Asked on January 16, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Paying for the house is separate from owning it: if someone is on the deed or title, he is an owner of the home even if another person paid for the house (via cash, mortgage, or a combination). Paying off the house or refinancing it will not let you remove him as owner. The only way to disentangle yourself--if he will not voluntarily quit claim the home to you--is to sell the home and go your separate ways (though he'll get his share of the proceeds) or to buy out his interest from him for a mutually agreeable price. You should consult with a real estate attorney to explore the pros and cons of the different options.


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