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Thomas McJD
Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6504
Experience:  Real Estate Attorney
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Is it possible to add another name to a mortgage without refinancing

Resolved Question:

Is it possible to add another name to a mortgage without refinancing the loan? My father owns the property I live and make payment on (I have always made the payment on it since it was purchased 4 years ago) he is concerned about issues with his own children when he passes away (at some point in the future) and wants my name on the loan as well. My credit currently does not put me in a place to apply for a loan so he would like to just add me to the existing loan, is that possible?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Thomas McJD replied 9 months ago.

Thomas McJD :

Hi [USERNAME], I'm Thomas and will be happy to assist you. My goal is to make you a very satisfied customer! Thanks in advance for your patience.

Customer:

Is there more information I can provide to clarify the question?

Thomas McJD :

Unfortunately, he cannot add you to the mortgage without refinancing the property. He can, however, add you to the deed as a joint owner so that when he dies, you succeed to sole ownership of the home. Further, under the Garn. St. Germain Act, the lender would not be able to force you to refinance -- you could simply keep making payments although you wouldn't be on the loan. This avoids probate (giving you ownership of the home) and allows you to continue making payments after his death without the need to refinance. I don't know what state you're in but some states also have transfer on death (TOD) deeds. That is an alternative to the joint tenancy deed if your state has TOD deeds.

Customer:

I live in Washington state (with the property) he lives in Alabama. Thank you for the answer, not sure if this is a serperate question but how can I point him in the right direction to add me to the deed? does the mortgage company hold it while they have the loan?

Thomas McJD :

One potential downfall to the joint tenancy deed is that the mortgage will have a due on sale clause. Technically what that means is that by transferring an interest in the home, the lender could call the whole note due immediately. However, that just doesn't happen when payments are maintained. The lender could do it, and I'm not saying it hasn't happened, but it's just not likely at all. That is why the TOD deed is a good option, if your state has that option.

Customer:

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX helpful to know any potential issues as well. So it is the lender who we would contact to add my name to the deed if we need that option? and if we are a TOD state would that be with the lender as well?

Thomas McJD :

Well, unfortunately, AL is a title theory state which means that the lender holds title to the property until the loan is paid in full. The person doesn't own the property until then, so he can't just add you to the deed.

Customer:

And since his primary residence is in Alabama that is where the loan originates, regardless of the state the property is in?

Thomas McJD :

No, is the property in another state? I may have gotten confused on the facts. Where is the property?

Customer:

The property is in Washington state

Thomas McJD :

Well, WA also doesn't have TOD deeds and is a deed of trust state where the lender holds title until the loan is paid in full. Perhaps the best option is for him to leave his ownership interest to you in trust or make a will leaving it to you. That way you own it on his death (although probate is required with a will). In either case, you wouldn't have to refinance per the Garn. St. Germain Act mentioned above.

Thomas McJD :

In any event, the best place to start is contacting an attorney in WA that can assist with a trust or a will. www.martindale.com is a very good website that you could use to help him locate a WA attorney.

Customer:

Alright, I appreciate that info. i will pass on the info to him so he can decide his next move. Thanks for the help.

Thomas McJD :

You're very welcome and thank you. I would be grateful if you could please leave me a positive rating. Thanks!

Thomas McJD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6504
Experience: Real Estate Attorney
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