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My ex is on the deed of house not Mortgage how do I get her off if she wont sign the paperwork? please see details.

Cromwell, CT |

I live in CT. 2 1/2 years ago my Ex and I split up. I had purchased a house while we were together. She is NOT on the Mortgage but is on the Title. After she moved out, I refinanced my mortgage and had her sign the paperwork to have her name removed from the title she did so without a problem now almost 2 years later, I have decided to sell my house and purchasse a new one. While in this process I found out that her name was still on the title due to an error with the MOrtgage Company, they did not require her to have 2 signatures on the document and now my real estate attorney is saying it is an unclean title. We have sent her new forms to fill out however, she has decided that this time she wants $8000.00 to sign. this is what she calculated that she paid for rent to live here over the course of 2 years. When she moved out I gave her $1000 towards a new apartment. What rights does she really have and How can I get this fixed quickly so I can complete the sale of my house? And can I go after her for the $35000.00 loss I am taking on the sale of my house?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

If the only defect in her prior deed (which should have been a quitclaim deed to you) was the absense of witnesses, then after 2 years, the Validating Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 47-36aa (A)(2) might apply making it valid. You should ask your real estate attorney about this.

What rights does she really have? This question has a complicated answer that depends on the way you hold title together, and whether there is an agreement on how income and expenses would be divided between you. If there is a divorce decree, that may impact the outcome. Either of you would have the right to file an action to partition the property, a part of which would be an accounting of how much each party would be entitled to after a sale. The general rule is that everything is divided equally, however, that may be modified by a divorce decree, agreement, or the facts and circumstances of the case. If one person lives there and the other does not, the the one living there benefits from use and occupancy more than the other. In that case, the one living there might owe 50% of the reasonable rental value during the time they lived there to the other. On the other hand, if the mortgage were a purchase money mortgage, and one person was making the payments, that would go on their side of the ledger. The same for taxes, insurance, etc. You really need to speak to your attorney about all of the facts and circumstances surrounding your ownership of the property.

The quick fix would be if the Validating Act applied, or you pay the $8,000, or negotiate a lower amount. A partition action would take a long time, and would involve some expense (attorney's fees, appraisal, title search, State Marshall fees, Court filing fees, etc.) I'm not sure why she would be responsible for the loss on the sale, but in a partition action, the loss would be split between the two of you. Seriously, talk to your attorney. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thank you.. she does not live here and we were never married. I Make all of the payments ( she isnot on the mortgage) including taxes and condo fees. Is this something she would also be responsible for paying if I took her to court! at this point I am ultimately trying to convince her it is just in hefbest interest yo sign and let us both move on with our lives.

Posted

I would add a few suggestions, although if you have a real estate lawyer already he/she may have already thought of these:

validating act (as mentioned)
between grantor and grantee even a deed not properly witnessed may be valid - the witness requirement may be designed to protect third parties
if there was a divorce the decree may control who has title and the deed may have been just to implement it
is there any liability on the part of the "mortgage company" that did not have the deed properly witnessed?

it is quite possible your own attorney has already thought of all of these ideas. It appears your ex- may be simply trying to make a few bucks now that you need a new signature. As to responsibility for the loss, doubtful (just as much charging for the rent).

This information is provided for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. You should retain an attorney to receive legal advice on your particular situation.

Asker

Posted

My Real Estate Lawyer had mentioned the validating act to me however The one issue is that since I did not know about the issue prior, currently have a buyer for my condo and a deposit on a new house, so I would prefer to not have to wait until then. This has all come down to the Mortgage Companies mistake ( however getting them to accept fault and fix it is a different story) Until now I had not received any indication that there was an error in the documentation. yes I believe she is just out to get some money, she left this place years ago, taking all of her belongings with her and has not been back. Considering she originally signed the documents, at this point it is totally about greed. Thanks so much for your help.

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