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I invested $25,000 in repairing my girlfriend's house and contributed 50% of the mortgage - but I'm not in the deed. What can I do?

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Dear Quentin,

I am 66 years old and moved in with my girlfriend, who has her own house. I invested $25,000 in repairs and made half of my mortgage payments over the past five years.

My name is in the refinanced mortgage, but not in the title deed.

If there is no will, what happens upon his death? She has three children from her deceased husband. I believe the house should go to me. What should I do?


Dear Partner,

If your name is on the mortgage but not on the property’s deed, you are technically a co-signer of the mortgage – and responsible for paying off the loan – but not the joint owner of the property. It’s a strange place to be in, especially given the amount of money you spend on repairs. Don’t spend $25,000 on a home you don’t own.

Assuming he’s willing to mortgage you, it would be more tax beneficial to put you in the deed. He could have used the waiver. These are sometimes mistakenly referred to as “fast request” actions, probably because of their convenience. They are designed to make property transfer both smooth and comfortable.

They are often used as gifts. According to attorney Barbara Craig, “Wills arose at a time when real estate transactions needed to be as quick and efficient as possible”. “California Gold Rush is a prime example of an era in which the right of withdrawal was necessary for the speedy and minimal document transfer of property rights.”

However, you don’t say (a) how much the house is worth, (b) how long you’ve owned the house, and (c) how much you both paid as a down payment. Paying half the mortgage for five years doesn’t mean you have 50% ownership, even if you believe it’s fair. When it comes to remodeling, you’re painted into a corner.

Yours isn’t the first letter I’ve received about one person’s mortgage and another’s title issue. This reader wrote that her husband claimed that he feared that he would divorce her if he put his name on the deed of the house he had bought before his marriage. (They had been married for thirty years, so it was something that made their married life uncomfortable.)

This woman had the opposite problem, she wrote to say that her estranged husband was on the deed but not on the mortgage, and – which is probably the least surprising part of this story – was the person who took charge of all that mortgage payment. years. As he recounts, it seems that he was tricked into this particular arrangement.

Considering that you are not married and do not have any property rights in the house, it is now up to your spouse whether you are registered or not. Why aren’t you on the mortgage but the deed? Did you knowingly accept this? So why? And did your girlfriend know what she was doing? If so, you are counting on his goodwill to add you.

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