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. Iâ€™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. Youâ€™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.