Who Owns a Home When There are Multiple Names on a Mortgage?

July 27, 2018

Between deeds, titles and mortgages - it can be complicated as to who owns what.

A Mortgage and title are not the same.

Mortgage and title are sometimes used interchangeably, but the two are not the same. A mortgage is the loan used to secure and purchase the property. The title, or deed, is a certificate of ownership for the property.

When you’re on the mortgage

If you are on the mortgage, but not the title, then you are an owner of the loan and the debt used to secure the property– not the property itself. Which means you are financially liable for the debt, but not entitled to any ownership benefits. There can be multiple names on the mortgage, but at least one of the borrowers must be listed on the title as a property owner. The property is used as collateral to secure the mortgage, so at least one borrower must have ownership.

When you’re on the title

The title lists all parties with ownership rights to the home. At least one person on the mortgage must be listed on the title, but a party can be listed on the title without being on the mortgage. Parties listed on the title have full property rights, and are considered the owners of the home. In short, having multiple names on a mortgage doesn’t entitle all of the borrowers to a stake in the property. Only borrowers, and non-borrowers, who are listed on the title, are property owners.

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Between deeds, titles and mortgages - it can be complicated as to who owns what.