Home Buying in Lancaster>Question Details

Free At Last…, Home Buyer in Lancaster, PA

Does a separated soon to be divorced spouse have to be at closing of real estate to sign papers in person?

Asked by Free At Last Almost, Lancaster, PA Sun Jul 5, 2009

I am in the process of a divorce. I left my husband February 16, 2008. It was an abusive situation. In the process of buying a home, my mortgage lender told me that my (spouse) had to be present at the closing of the sale to sign papers. Is there any way this can be avoided? I do not want him knowing where i will be living. I am using my own funds for closing fees and will be paying the mortgage myself.

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We agree that people are not reading the question. She is a Buyer not Seller. The issue is can she buy in her own name without the ex or soon to be ex being involved. It is a question of Maital Rights in PA and best answered by her attorney.

Fran and Mark Redding
Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors
215-321-3307 Direct
215-504-7500 Office
215-208-7169 Cell
Web Reference: http://www.franandmark.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
I'm wondering if some are actually reading this question. It does not sound like the sale went on without the ex spouse's KNOWLEDGE - the question is do they have to both be at the closing table to sign the documents at the same time!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
I hope you have consulted your divorce attorney about this transaction. There are several documents that will need to be signed by your husband essentially giving up his rights to your property. Don't try to cut corners here with the legal assistance. I have seen some real messes regarding marital property matters that were handled badly.

As for the closing, I have had many closings at the NJ shore ( and PA ) where neither party was at the settlement. All the necessary paperwork had been signed by both parties in advance. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 17, 2009
While the papers do need to be signed by him & and by you, it doesn't mean you two have to be in the room at the same time. You can sign the papers before or after he does, or have a power of attorney given to another individual to sign for you. You definitely need to consult the attorney who is conducting the closing, but no need to worry. You will be fine.

Best Wishes!

Dorothy LaBar
Rector-Hayden Realtors
Lexington KY
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 8, 2009
Free at last

Good for You. Contact your attorney. There are marital property laws in Pennsylvania that may have some impact. As long as you are using your own funds and have qualified for a mortgage using your assets and income your soon to be ex has nothing to do with your purchase. Contact your attorney. The mortgage company or title company closing clerk may not be aware of your situation and are giving you a stock answer. Again we say contact your attorney. Any document that may need to be executed by your ex that waives any potential marital interest can be prepared by him. Cosider having your attorney at the closing to avoid any issues with your motgage company. If done properly your ex does not need to know where you are living.
Good luck and contact your attorney.

Fran and Mark Redding
Prudential Fox & Roach
1010 Stony Hill Road
215-321-3307 DIRECT
Web Reference: http://www.franandmark.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 6, 2009
You can always have the title company/attorney doing the closing provide you with a deed package for both you and your ex. You will both need to take the packet to a notary to have signed in their presence, you dont have to go together or even to the same notary. This will eliminate the need for either of you to attend the closing. You can even give your real estate agent limited power of attorney to sign the HUD (closing sheet) at settlement on your behalf and he could do the same. I have had numerous sellers do this and it is generally a little more work, being that you have to get everything done in advance and generally pay to overnight the package back to the closing company, but it saves the unwanted feeling of being in the same place at the same time with your soon to be ex. Good luck with everything.

Andrew Himes, CRS, ABR, e-PRO
Web Reference: http://www.AndrewHimes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 5, 2009
If his name is on the deed, then he needs to sign. He also should have signed the purchase contract between you and the buyer of your home.

I hope you had him sign or it could be a very ugly situation if your soon to be ex decides he doesn't want to sell it. Without his signature on the purchase contract, you might not have a valid contract. Talk to your legal counsel right away.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 5, 2009
It's possible to sign the paperwork ahead of time at the attorney/closing company's office. You can even do it by mail, but you will have to pay extra for postage fees/overnight fees - contact the person conducting your closing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 5, 2009
You will need to consult an attorney. According to what I believe is true, your ex may need to sign paperwork allowing you to close on a home without him being in the deed. You will need to ask your lender exactly why they need him and what papers are to be signed. Also, with him actually being there, he will undoubtedly know where you will be living.

I am sorry I could not give you a more definitive answer.

Terrence Charest, e-Pro
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 5, 2009
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