Ifsomeone is listed as sole owner of a home, does it mean that the house is paid off?

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Ifsomeone is listed as sole owner of a home, does it mean that the house is paid off?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a deed indicates there is only one homeowner, it means it is owned by one person (not let's say joint tenants like a husband and wife).  The mortgagor is the homeowner; the mortgagee is entity from whom you obtain the loan. So a listing as sole owner doesn't necessarily mean the home is paid off. You need to find out through the registry of deeds whether there was a discharge of mortgage and whether there are any subsequent or existing liens on the home (1st mortgage, second mortgage, HELOC, liens). Then you can determine if the house has been fully paid off.


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