How do I get my ex (or anyone) off my deed in Connecticut?
Correcting your property records is an important step to protecting your property ownership rights following a divorce
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Filing paperwork to amend land records is one of the last things on someone’s mind in the midst of breaking up with their spouse. Correcting your deed is, however, a crucial for protecting your property rights on any jointly-owned real estate. Knowing how to correct a deed isn’t obvious for many, but only takes a few steps to complete.
Removing someone from being an owner of real property in Connecticut
In order for someone to be removed from being an owner (commonly referred to as being on “title”), that person needs to sign a deed to transfer their ownership rights. Normally it is a Quitclaim Deed, however, we recommend a Warranty Deed so that the transfer does not inadvertently terminate any title insurance protection that may be in effect. The Deed will include the name of the person who is signing their ownership rights away, the name of the person who is receiving the ownership rights, as well as including the legal description of the property. It must be signed before a notary and two witnesses. The notary may be a witness, but the person receiving the ownership right cannot be a witness.
In addition to the Deed, you will need a conveyance tax form. Although no tax will be due, you still need to complete the form. It includes both parties names, addresses, and social security numbers and can be obtained by contacting the Town clerk’s office.
The Deed and conveyance tax form needs to be brought to the Town Clerk for recording, in the town in which the property is located. There is a recording fee that the Town Clerk will charge for recording.
Removing someone from a mortgage
Keep in mind that a Deed does not remove someone from a mortgage on the property. In fact, under the language of most mortgages, it is considered a default for the property to be transferred to someone else without the bank’s approval, meaning that the bank could call in the loan.
To remove a name from a mortgage, the person who wants to come off of the mortgage must contact the lender and ask them to modify the loan. If the lender will not change the existing loan, then the mortgage needs to be paid off, commonly through a refinance on the property, so that the new mortgage is no longer in that person’s name. If the other person does not qualify for the mortgage, you will not be able to do a loan modification nor a refinance, and you will have to consider selling the property.
Although dividing assets during a divorce can be messy, the actual process of changing ownership and mortgage records is fairly straightforward. It should be mentioned that the steps outlined above can be used in any situation in which you want to remove someone from a deed or mortgage, not just a divorce.
If you need help changing property or loan records, reach out to Pederson Real Estate Law today. Attorney Charlene Pederson has more than 25 years of guiding Connecticut clients through residential real estate transactions.