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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 38217
Experience:  Attorney with 17 years experience
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My husband and I are planning to buy a house in California.

Customer Question

My husband and I are planning to buy a house in California. We have challenges in our relationship so I am hesitant to invest in the downpayment. I am ready to help my husband every month with half of the mortgage amount but I don't want to have the mortgage in my name. My husband says that then he will have the title be only in his name.
1. What are the pros and cons of being a co borrower?
2. Also what are the pros and cons of having my name on the title deed ?
3. Can I have my name on the title without being a coborrower?
4. At a later stage if we split , what happens to the mortgage and house in both scenarios (if it is in my name and if it is not )?Thank you!
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by JustAnswer and you are under no obligation to accept.

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1. What are the pros and cons of being a co borrower?

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There aren't a lot of pros other than potentially helping your credit score with regular payments. But the cons are if you get behind, your get dinged on your credit and if you default, they can sue you and hold you liable for the debt along with your spouse.

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2. Also what are the pros and cons of having my name on the title deed ?

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If you aren't on the deed, then you aren't considered a record owner. You own half due to the marriage, so if you divorced, you would get half, but in the property records you won't be listed as an owner. That isn't really a pro or con.

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3. Can I have my name on the title without being a coborrower?

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Sure. You just have to sign the deed of trust agreeing to pledge the property as collateral for the loan, but you don't sign the Note, which determines who has to pay the money back to the bank.

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4. At a later stage if we split , what happens to the mortgage and house in both scenarios (if it is in my name and if it is not )?

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If it is not in your name, you aren't responsible for paying it. If it is, you are both liable. And if you were to split and he kept the house and then defaulted on it, you get hit with a foreclosure as well since you are on the debt, even if you aren't a legal owner of the property if a judge awarded the house to spouse.

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If the marriage is shaky, then adding a house to it definitely isn't going to help and it would be a much better idea to wait to see if the marriage is going to survive before jumping into that situation.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I want a clarification on 4. If the title is in my name and the mortgage is not, am I still liable for the debt ? In this situation, would I get hit with the foreclosure as you mentioned.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

No, you are not. The title determines ownership. The Note, which goes along with the deed of trust/mortgage determines who has to pay for it.

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In a foreclosure situation, you would be named as a party since you would own half the house, but it wouldn't go on your credit since you aren't liable for the debt.

Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

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I just wanted to touch base with you and check in.

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Did you have any further questions I can help with?

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Thanks much

Barrister