Racine, WI asked in Banking, Contracts, Consumer Law and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin

Q: Home purchase: Can another person/name be added to title at closing?

Buying house, he is on the loan and I am not. The bank just said I cannot be put on the title because we are not married? Is this law or policy? Thank you!

1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Business Law Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: If two parties are not legally married, I do not recommend jointly owning property with someone who is also not liable for the mortgage on the property. Once you are married, your husband can add you to the title, if he wishes via deed. In Wisconsin we have a special form of ownership where married couples can hold property as survivorship marital property, meaning that it passes to the surviving spouse upon death without probate. If you get married, your husband may also wish to add you to the mortgage. I generally do not recommend that anyone sign for a mortgage if they are not included on the title to the property. Since it sounds like you are not liable for the mortgage, then it makes sense you are not on the title. If you want to be on the title, then you both should be liable for the mortgage, and have a written agreement put together regarding what happens if one of you wants out of the property etc. The bank may have its own policies about how it will structure the transaction when it is loaning the money. It may be their policy to not include someone who is not a signatory to the loan on the title. They want to be able to recover against their secured interest in the property if the party who obtains the loan defaults.

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