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What If My Spouse Dies and I’m Not On The Mortgage?

06-06-2024About MortgagesEddie Knoell

In this post, we’re going to touch upon unfortunate circumstances: death. The death of a loved one is incredibly hard to go through. We hope that we can, at the very least, make navigating these tragic circumstances a little bit easier. We’re going to be discussing what to do if, when your spouse has died, you might be wondering what to do with the mortgage if you’re not on the loan.

Lawyer Up

Now we’re not real estate attorneys nor are we accounts, but we hope this can point you in the right direction. These are practical opinions. These are the sort of answers customers would get if they called us with these questions. We definitely suggest getting in touch with an attorney when dealing with something like this.

Common Questions Regarding Mortgages When A Spouse Dies

Some common questions regarding mortgages when a spouse dies include:

  • Will the bank let us make payments on this mortgage?
  • Do we have to refinance?
  • Do we have to sell the home?

Are you on the title?

If a spouse dies you’ll want to know if you’re on the title or not. There’s a good chance you’re both on the title but you may not be on the loan. This is something you’ll want to sort out and accordingly discuss with your attorney.

Ask about the St. Germain Act of 1982

Ask your attorney about the St. Germain Act of 1982. One of the critical provisions of the Act was the preemption of state laws that restricted the enforcement of due-on-sale clauses in mortgage contracts. A due-on-sale clause allows a lender to demand full repayment of a mortgage if the property is sold or transferred. The Act made these clauses enforceable, but with significant exceptions for transfers to relatives, spouse, or children, and for transfers into certain types of trusts. Be sure to check with your lawyer.

Are you in a community property state?

Living in a community property state affects how property is handled if you’re not on the title. The nine community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. In these states, property is classified as either community property or separate property. This classification impacts how the property is managed and inherited. Whether you reside in one of these states or not, it’s essential to discuss your situation with an attorney to understand your rights and obligations.

Do we refinance? Do I put it into my name?

You can if you want. You have rights if you’re on the title. You could stay on the current loan or you could qualify for a new mortgage. It’s up to you. We suggest speaking with an attorney about how to go about notifying a bank that a spouse who was on the mortgage has passed.

Planning Ahead

Sometimes when doing loans we discuss whether both spouses will be on a loan or not and how things would be handled if a spouse should die. It’s a morbid subject but it’s one you might want to discuss so make sure that the surviving spouse has rights to the home and loan. Either way, we hope this helps and gives you a good jumping off point.

If you have any questions about this or anything else mortgage related don’t hesitate to give us a call at (602) 535-2171.


Be sure to ask us for a free quote on your next mortgage. We’ll personally work with you and help you through the whole process.

Signature Home Loans LLC does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Signature Home Loans NMLS 1007154, NMLS #210917 and 1618695. Equal housing lender.