Is a co-signer on a mortgage loan also a co-owner?

Asked by Leah, Hillsborough County, FL Wed Jan 20, 2010

If I have my someone co-sign a mortgage loan with me, are they required to be included in the sales contract? Would they be listed on the deed or title? If so, does that mean a co-signer is also a co-owner?

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Gerard Dunn, Agent, Chevy Chase, MD
Wed Jan 20, 2010
Not necessarily. You need to check the deed to see who the OWNERS are and what percentage ownership they have been allocated.

Co-signers take responsibility for repayment of a loan. They are not necessarily on the deed.
2 votes
AKrishna Ras…, Agent, NJ,
Sun Feb 9, 2014
This question has been quite old though many other buyers may also be looking for a better answer on this. Being in Real Estate and Lending since last many years I have come across many such scenarios in which a co-signer is sought.
One must understand the difference between Co-borrower and Co-signer first.
Co-borrower- is one who buys the property with you, is on the purchase contract, will be on the mortgage note and on the Deed/Title of the house
Co-signer- on the contrary is used for the purpose of qualifying on the mortgage only- it may be due to low credit score, and/or high DTI ratio. When one uses co-signer he/she should qualify for the PITIA on the property by herself/himself but for the DTI can use any close relative. This co-signer does not have to be on the title as he/she is only taking responsibility for mortgage end in case of default.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have very clearly defined them see link below…
page 16 cosigner.

However, problem is many lenders and Underwriters do not differentiate between co-borrower and co-signer or they do not want to. Same is the case with many attorney's. They have to be shown and educated about it.
I have lent on many such cases.
0 votes
Steven Pahl, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Jan 21, 2010
All good answers below. You decide at closing who will also be on the deed and the type of ownership (tenants-in-common, Tenants by the entirety....should be discussed with your RE agent). The co-signer is jointly responsible for the mortgage if you fail to pay, but may not have any rights to the property. This would be something to discuss with a RE attorney.

Steven J. Pahl

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0 votes
Alex Saenger, Agent, Rockville, MD
Wed Jan 20, 2010
Whomever signs on the mortgage/loan is responsible for the money on the house. Whomever signs on the Deed is an owner of the property. That's basically how it works. But the best bet is to consult the lender and an attorney in your jurisdiction to verify.
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Jan 20, 2010
Depends---a co-signer on a mortgage is responsible for payment if you fail to pay --depending at what you are looking to do--why not consult with an attorney specializing in real estate--most professionals do offer a free consultation.
0 votes
Mott Marvin…, Agent, Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Wed Jan 20, 2010
May or May not be... certainly the co-signer has liability on the note, but not necessarily benefits from the ownership. Not all lenders require the co-signer to be included in the purchase agreement- most do.

Seems like the co-signer has the liability of repayment, NOT the benefits of ownership. Your question is best addressed to an attorney and your lender.

Mott Marvin Kornicki, Broker
Real Estate In South Florida
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