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Buying a home after a civil union

Chicago, IL |
Filed under: Marriage and prenups

Hello, I was wondering since after June 1st, 2011 civil unions will be allowed legally in Illinois can you gain a mortgage together and buy real estate together with joint ownership?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Hi,

    Well you could always get a mortgage and own real estate together. Nothing stops you from doing that now. But there is the issue of whether you can own it with the same rights and privileges that married couples can own it. The consesus among experts is that you will be able to own it with the same rights as married couples. However, it remains to be seen how this state law will interact with federal laws which do not recognize civil unions. For example, how would the IRS or Department of Justice view your ownership interests?

    The content of this Answer has been prepared by Michael W. van Zalingen for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The material posted on this website by Michael W. van Zalingen is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between you and Michael W. van Zalingen, and readers should not act upon it without seeking professional counsel. You should also consult with a free HUD-Certified Housing Counseling agency in your area (www.hud.gov). Michael W. van Zalingen did not produce and is not responsible for the content of this site’s legal resources or other off-site legal resources. The materials on this site may constitute advertising under various state ethics rules. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


  2. As stated in the other answer, even complete strangers can own and inherit real estate with and from each other today, through joint tenancy (JTWROS - joint tenants with the right of survivorship). There is a "special" ownership form for just married couples that will most likely NOT apply. As to a mortgage, again even strangers can apply for joint credit just as married couples and jointly mortgage property with each signer jointly and severally liable on the total debt. The big question is how lenders will approach the situation; theoretically they should underwrite they way they would any "partnership" based on who is applying for the credit. The best way to test the waters is by . . . testing the waters. Check with a couple of lenders and see which give you the clearest, simplest answers. And if any say "no" I'd think about reporting them to the Illinois Department of Financial Institutions....... Best luck to you!!!

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