If my wife and I are both on the deed and the mortgage, can I refinance without her signature?

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If my wife and I are both on the deed and the mortgage, can I refinance without her signature?

My wife and I bought a house. We bought a 2nd house and moved into it – keeping the first house. In 2000 we were getting divorced and I moved back into the 1st house. I went to a different bank and refinanced and took some equity for home improvements. The bank never had her sign anything. She is still on the deed. Is this mortgage legal and binding? I am having an issue with the bank and want to know if they screwed up by not having her sign the refinance.

Asked on July 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The mortgage that you alone received and signed for where real property in the names of both you and your wife was used as security is an obligation that only you are responsible for. Your wife did not sign the papers for the loan or the mortgage on the property even though she was on legal title to the property at the time you entered into it.

Usually any time a loan is made to a person where real property owned by several people is the security for the loan, the lending company usually requires all owners of record to sign on the loan and to sign the mortgage for the loan.

The loan that was made to you and the mortgage of your ownership interest only in the property is legal and binding. Possibly you can refinance your loan where your ownership interests in the property is security for the loan without having your wife being obligated personally on the refinance. Most likely, the lender will want you wife to sign on the refinance to also be obligated where her interests in the property would most likely be asked to be security for the loan.


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