Adding a Spouse to the Title

Adding a Spouse to the Title

Question: My wife/husband cannot go on mortgage because of her/his credit. Can I just add her/him to the purchase agreement?

Answer: No. The names on the purchase agreement have to match those on the mortgage. Lenders always want to make sure the persons on the mortgage match the ones on the title because they don’t want to get into an issue of dealing with a home-owner who is not on the mortgage if there is ever any problems with the mortgage payment or foreclosure.

Question: My spouse is the sole owner of our house. Does it mean that I have no right in the property?

Answer: No. There are two sets of law in play here: family law and real estate law. Family law (which is beyond the scope of our discussion here) deals with the matters related to division of matrimonial property. So even if you are not on title, you may have a share in the equity of “your spouse’s” home. In addition to such rights, the applicable real estate law, and particularly Dower Act, addresses spousal consent in cases where the title is under one person’s name but either that person or their spouse have lived in the house. So whether or not you have any share in the title, your consent may be required at the time of sale anyway.


Leave a Reply