How to Take Over a Mortgage Without Paperwork

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Your spouse or another family member wants to give you control of the mortgage and possibly an ownership interest in the property, but without requiring you to get a new mortgage loan. Without the proper documents or paperwork that reflect your acquisition of the property, you are merely helping the mortgagor — also known as the borrower — with a home loan. You should only do this with someone you either completely trust or for whom you have a responsibility, such as an elderly parent or disabled relative who has the money to make mortgage payments, but requires assistance. You should exercise greater caution if you are attempting to take over a mortgage from nonrelated individuals without legally-binding agreements such as a mortgage note, land installment agreement or quitclaim deed.

Speak with the mortgagor about taking over the home loan. Discuss your intentions to acquire the property based on good faith or a handshake, once you have done your due diligence.

Ask the mortgagor to advise the lender of your permission to make inquiries about the mortgage loan.

Get details from the mortgagor about the loan. Request information such as the mortgage balance, mortgage payment, a copy of a current mortgage statement and the mortgage loan’s current status.

View public land records to check for encumbrances attached to the property, such as outstanding mortgage loans, unpaid tax liens, mechanic’s liens, other lien types or civil judgments.

Use a voice recorder to capture the verbal agreement between you and the mortgagor. Ask the mortgagor to agree to the recording, to identify himself and the details of the transaction. Place the recorded message in a secure place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Hire a title attorney to conduct a title search prior to taking over a mortgage, to obtain a greater understanding of the legal interest of record and to ensure the mortgagor is the owner of record. Circumstances could exist where there is one mortgagor listed on the mortgage note, while the mortgagor and others reflect an ownership interest on the deed to the property. An attorney can provide clarity and may provide advice for dealing with multiple owners.
  • A voice recording may only serve as a reminder to the mortgagor of your agreement and have minimal impact in a legal proceeding.
  • Debts the mortgagor obtained can be attached to the property without your knowledge.
  • The mortgagor can sell or refinance the property without your permission.

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