How to remove aname from a mortgage?

UPDATED: Jan 23, 2011

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How to remove aname from a mortgage?

When my boyfriend was 20 years old, his mother forced him to co-sign the mortgage for a condo that she was about to purchase. He did not want to sign at the time and he never lived at the condo or had any ties to it financially or otherwise (besides the fact that his name was on the mortgage). Now we are in our mid-20s and want his name off; we would like to buy our own property at some point and do not want to inherit her debt for a piece of property that we have no ties to or interest in owning. What are our options for having his name removed?

Asked on January 23, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

She can try and refinance the property in her name only.  However, in this economy, she may not be successful. It depends on her finances. If a refinance is denied, she can ask the lender to allow what is called a "novation" to remove his name. While this is only rarely allowed, it's worth trying.  A novation could be accomplished by his mother showing that she has paid the mortgage without him; if she is current and has never been late, the lender may allow her to remove your boyfriend's name from the mortgage without her having to refinance.  A novation may also be obtained if she "buys" his release by making a substantial payment to reduce the mortgage balance.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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