NJ - can I refi and get my wife off the loans w/out being officially seperated or divorced?

Asked by Someguy, 07302 Wed Jan 14, 2009

Apparently this is a state by state question. The mortgage person I spoke to was in NC and she advised me that in NC I would not be allowed to refi without her name on the docs until we were officially separated or divorced. So before I waste my money applying I need to get this answered.

Anyone know the law in NJ? Thanks!

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William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Wed Jan 14, 2009
Someguy: This is a legal and mortgage question, rather than a real estate question. Therefore, since I am a Realtor, what follows is not legal advice, just stuff that it occurs to me you will have to check with an attorney.

You can own property in New Jersey in your own name while married in this state. You can also mortgage it in your own name. I’ve done it more than once. Now, NJ is not a community property state, so you don't own everything together. However, upon divorce, there is the marital home issue (see a lawyer for how this one works) and the equitable distribution issue, which can be negotiated, I guess, until it can't, at which time the court may have to decide what is equitable for you.

I mention this because, in a divorce, your property has strings and fishhooks about which your mortgage company will be knowledgeable and obviously they will not lend money with the security for the loan compromised. The same thing holds true with whose name(s) is/are on the deed. No one will lend money to someone who does not have a clear title to a property and, unless your wife was never on the deed, (and why then would she be on the mortgage?) you're in the corner on that one as well. You’ll have to get her name off the deed.

If you are planning a divorce, it becomes the case that you need agreements as to where the marital assets go, even before you sell the property or buy your wife out. You will probably find it impossible to free her from the responsibility for the debt, short of establishing that she cannot claim the house under any circumstances and that you are good for the balance owed.

Good luck with this one.
1 vote
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Thu Jan 15, 2009
Someguy,

Thanks for the update.

Good luck to you.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
GinaChirico@PruNewJersey.com
0 votes
Someguy, Both Buyer And Seller, 07302
Thu Jan 15, 2009
Spoke to a real estate lawyer. She said NJ is not a community property state and that the refi and title can be completed, but my wife will need to sign some additional papers at closing giving up her rights to the property. Luckily for me my wife and I are already in agreement on all matters of the separation this shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks for all the advice.
0 votes
William Leigh…, , New Jersey
Thu Jan 15, 2009
Someguy: Trust your lawyer, not a mortgage "consultant" in matters of law. Here's a list of the community propery states, just FYI.

community property states:

Arizona
California
Idaho
Louisiana
Nevada
New Mexico
Texas
Washington
Wisconsin

Source: http://www.fairmark.com/spousal/comprop.htm
0 votes
Corey Grushin, Agent, East Brunswick, NJ
Thu Jan 15, 2009
Someguy, I'm a mortgage consultant in New Jersey and because I come across this situation frequently i KNOW New Jersey IS a community Property state.
You can refinance and take your wife off the loan, but she will be required to sign certain documents and she will also remain on the title, but this is not a problem. You will be able to remove her from title with a Quit Claim Deed after the divorce is finalized. Keep in mind you most probably will have to buy out your wife's share of the home value upon completion of the divorce, so if you don't have the assets to do so, you may need to take them out of the equity in house (if available), so plan ahead so you don't have to refinance again. Good luck and let me know if I can be of assistance.
0 votes
, ,
Thu Jan 15, 2009
In Pennsylvania If your married, the spouse must stay on title not necessarily on the mortgage. Assuming you can credit qualify with your income alone.
0 votes
Gina Chirico, Agent, Fairfield, NJ
Wed Jan 14, 2009
Someguy,

I'm not a lawyer nor mortgage lender but I can tell you from my own personal experience that although my name was on the original deed and mortgage, when we refinanced a few years back (at that time I was a stay at home mom, not working and pretty much brought more debt than income to the table) so the loan was refinanced in my husband's name. My name is still on the deed but just not the mortgage. Ask a lawyer and lender what is best for you under your personal circumstance.

Gina Chirico, Sales Associate
Prudential NJ Properties
973-715-1158 cell
973-992-6363 ext 116
GinaChirico@PruNewJersey.com
0 votes
Vita Strakhm…, , 07446
Wed Jan 14, 2009
If your income, and your credit score is high enough, you shouldn't have a problem. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.vitastrakhman.com
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Jan 14, 2009
You should be able to refinance in just you name, your wife would have to sign a form from the mortgage company giving up her homestead rights and they would type a new deed without her on it. Stick with a local and trusted mortgage comnpany, stay away from internet brokers or out of state agents. good luck with your refi
Web Reference:  http://www.ScottSellsNH.com
0 votes
Marty S, , Irvine, CA
Wed Jan 14, 2009
New jersey is not a community property state, so as long as your wife willingly signs a quit claim on the deed, you should be good to go.

Also, NEVER pay an application fee up front for a mortgage. Most lenders/brokers, such as myself, do not charge this.

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.

I would love to assist you with your mortgage. Email me, and let's discuss!

Martin Smith

Precision Funding
877-238-6324 Ext 704
513-536-7184
877-238-6324 FAX
MSmith@PrecisionFundingUSA.com
http://www.PrecisionFundingUSA.com
0 votes
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