Mortgage Loan in one spouses name

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Mortgage Loan in one spouses name

My husband and I qualify for a new homeowner mortgage program if we put the loan in my name only and use only my income to meet the requirement.

Am I alone soley responsible for the mortgage should we split up or one of us passes away?

NJ is a communal property state…if his name is not on the deed and the mortgage is in my name only does he have any claim to the house should we split or in case of death?

Asked on February 26, 2018 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) In terms of divorcing: yes, he will have a claim, since it is an asset acquired during marriage; a spouse has a claim to any during-marriage assets (since otherwise, it would be too easy to deprive a spouse by putting assets in one name only).
2) In terms of death: if you pass way, he would inherit by intestate succession if there is no will (assuming you are still married when you pass).  If there is a will, the home goes to whomever you willed to, subject to the following (if again, you are still married when you pass): you cannot fully disinherit your spouse in NJ (or most states), and he will be entitled to 1/3 of your total assets when you pass away, regardless of what you wanted.
3) However, you will be SOLELY resonsible for the mortgage. That is because the mortgage is a contract; only the signatories or parties to a contract are obligated under it; if you are the only borrower, you are therefore the only one required to repay.


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