Skip to main content

Can you take someones name off a home deed if they were never a "borrower" or "co-borrower on the home"?

Richmond, TX |

I purchased a home with my older brother. He had terrible credit, and could not be listed as a financial borrower on the mortgage. Therefore, I was the only one listed as the borrower. His name as well as mine were both put on the deed of the home, but he has since walked away from the property, as well as stop making payments of his share a few years ago. In an email he agreed to give me the property entirely. I am married now, and would like to put my wife on the deed, and remove his name. What would be the most efficient way of making this change? Do I need his signature?

By the way, I was originally told by my brother that he was also on the mortgage and the deed when we first made the purchase. From what he is now saying is he was only listed on the deed, but was never on the mortgage. I have no idea how you can be listed on a deed without being listed on a mortgage. Also, he only lived in the home for 9 months and went to purchase his own home, and I have been in the home since we first bought the home, have never moved.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3

Posted

Short answer is that you are going to need the help of an experienced real estate lawyer. Deeds are not like car titles. You can't take peoples names off and put peoples names on. Deeds are more like an entry in a family tree. You can get a copy of the deed and the mortgage by going down to the county clerk's offices and researching the real property records. That would tell you what they actually say without having to rely on your brother for information. You do not need a lawyer to get copies. Tell the clerk you just want regular copies not certified. It will be a little cheaper. Your brother would convey his interest in the house to you by signing a General Warranty Deed to you. You need a lawyer to prepare it. The consideration for the deed should be "a gift". Before you convey any interest in the house to your spouse you need to consult with an attorney. If you purchased the house prior to your marriage then that portion is your separate property. If your brother gifts his portion to you during your marriage then that portion is your separate property. It makes a significant difference if you own the house as separate property instead of community property. A divorce court does not have the power in Texas to take one spouse's separate real estate away and award it to the other spouse. However, if you want the house to be treated as community property there is a way to accomplish that but you will need an experienced attorney to do it. One thing you will want to be very careful about is avoiding an accidental default on the mortgage. Most mortgages describe the act of conveying an interest in the real estate without paying off the mortgage or getting the consent of the lender as a default. Again, get the advice of an experienced real estate lawyer. I think you can get where you want to get, just not on your own.

DISCLAIMER: This is not specific legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Orsen, I believe we will be in touch with you soon. Would you be able to take on such a case? Or point us in the right direction to a colleague?

Posted

If your brother will sign a deed quitclaiming his interest to you, then simply have a local attorney prepare the deed and file it.
Note that if your brother has credit issues, you might want to run a title search on him to determine if there are any judgments or other liens in his name.
If your brother will no sign voluntarily sign a deed, then you would have to file an action for partition in which you would have to buy out his interest.

If this answer was helpful, please mark it as helpful or as a best answer. This answer is for general education purposes only. It neither creates an attorney-client relationship nor provides legal guidance or advice. The answer is based on the limited information provided and the answer might be different had additional information been provided. You should consult an attorney.

Asker

Posted

Thank you Michael, I did not think of a title search. Wonderful suggestion.

Stephen R. Best

Stephen R. Best

Posted

I deal with title companies all day long...have represented most. You want to do a non-merger deed I believe..that way, even if something shows up in title at a later date (filed against your brother) You would retain the ability to foreclose on his interest in order to clear title to the property. Additionally, if you go to HCAD's website, it should tell you how title exists. I am guessing, it is vested in yourself and your brother. A quitclaim deed in Texas is not the answer...you want a warranty deed for title company purposes. It can be a Gift Warranty Deed or simply a Special Warranty Deed. Hope that helps.

Posted

Although your brother did not sign the promissory note, he remains in title unless and until he deeds the property back to you by virtue of a gift deed or a warranty deed.

Asker

Posted

He did send me a piece of paper early this year asking for MY signature. Saying he was giving the home to me as a gift, as well as asking for my social security number. He refused to sign it first and give me his social prior to signing. I wasn't going to sign a thing from him since it felt fishy, and he has a history of pulling the wool over my eyes. Perhaps this was his intention to do a "Gift deed", but I felt strongly his signature was needed well above mine since he was the one who walked away from the home years ago.

Asker

Posted

Stephen, do you practice real estate law?

Stephen R. Best

Stephen R. Best

Posted

Do not sign anything until you have it looked at. I am happy to assist you.

Stephen R. Best

Stephen R. Best

Posted

Yes, I have been practicing real estate law in Houston for 27 years. Sincerely, Stephen R. Best Attorney at Law 6005 S. Gessner Rd., Suite 1269 Houston, Texas 77036 (832) 465-3839

Stephen R. Best

Stephen R. Best

Posted

Yes Sent from my Cricket smartphone > >---------------------------------------- This email was sent by: Avvo, Inc. 1501 4th AveSuite 1900 Seattle, WA, 98101-1588, USA We respect your right to privacy - visit the following URL to view our policy. ( http://click.mail5.avvo.com/?qs=a6600d904e937425599fb96386e1717e7f41005b1c36a0f25a244544a1895ede940c601e25013863 ) ----------------------------------------

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer