Ex-Partner's Name On Deed

Question: My ex-boyfriend's name was included on my house deed, and I want to sell the house. How can I clear his name from the deed?

I own a home in St. Joseph, Michigan. When I purchased this home, I was dating someone. Somehow, between him and the real estate agent, his name ended up on the deed. He has never paid a penny toward the down payment, the payments on the land contract or mortgages, the tax bills, home improvement, utilities, nothing. Almost 9 years ago he left the area, I believe, and I have not heard from him since. When I purchased the home, it was on land contract, I took out a mortgage to pay off the contract. Later, I took out another mortgage to pay off the first mortgage and to be able to utilize some of the equity accrued, which I am still paying on today. I am now considering selling the home. I need to know what I can to do at this point to clear the person's name from the deed so that it will have a clean deed.

Answer: Are you sure he is still on title. As a real estate attorney, I find it unusual that you could get a mortgage on the home if one of the owners, your ex boyfriend, did not sign. Mortgage companies are very fastidious to make sure that all persons who own a property sign the mortgage. Find a copy of the title insurance from your last mortgage, that will show you who the owner(s) is/are.

If he is on the title, you will have to track him down and get him to sign a quit claim deed. If you can't find him or he won't sign a deed, you will have to file a lawsuit to quiet title against him. Such a lawsuit takes about 6 months, so plan ahead. Good luck.

Attorney: Mark Miller

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