Removing a name from a joint mortgage

Below we cover the many reasons you might remove someone from a mortgage

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Removing a name from a joint mortgage – UK

There are many reasons for removing a name from a mortgage (UK):

  • Separation
  • Divorce
  • The removal of an investor
  • A buyout
  • Handing over the property to a single party
  • A parent leaving a joint mortgage
  • Transferring equity to a new party
  • A pay-out of equity to a leaving party

How to remove someone from a mortgage (UK)

The process of removing yourself or someone else from a mortgage is relatively simple and straightforward—as long as everyone is in agreement and wants the same result.

There are two parts to take care of: the first, the legal paperwork carried out by solicitors or conveyancers, and secondly, rearranging the mortgage to accommodate new terms.

The legal process

Your solicitor will send the necessary transfer documents under their standard remortgage package. Remortgaging involves a basic legal fee of around £100–£200.

If everyone agrees to the new terms, approval is a simple and quick event, as long as all paperwork is present.

Sadly, if there is friction between parting partners, the cost can be far higher, with legal challenges and possible court action extending the time to an agreement and far greater fees. Wherever possible, work together to find amicable solutions. All parties will be far better off in the long run.

The mortgage process

Removing a name from a mortgage is a very similar process to remortgaging. You’ll need to let your existing provider know the changes you’re planning so that they can carry out calculations, ensuring you can afford to meet their criteria and monthly payments.

The process is clean and easy if you can meet the existing requirements.

If not, you will have to change the terms of your mortgage to come up with manageable repayments, or search out an alternative provider that can offer you a better deal.

It’s definitely worth exploring the market at this point, as there are mortgage products for every type of borrower. Given your situation is changing quite considerably, speaking to an experienced mortgage broker will provide you with all the information you need to figure out the best deal for you and your next move.

Remember, there could be early repayment charges to pay if you’re still in a current deal, so switching to an alternative product needs to cover those costs while still leaving you in a better financial position.

Buying someone out of a joint mortgage

When buying someone out of a joint mortgage, there will be a transfer of equity.

Joint mortgages dictate shared ownership of the property, so when one party leaves the contract, they’re entitled to their share of the equity the property has already accrued.

If all parties agree, the solicitor provides paperwork for the transfer of equity once the new mortgage is agreed upon (from an existing or new lender).

The balance will be paid through the solicitor on completion, taking into account the legal fees. The process can take up one or two months in total, but with an expert mortgage advisor and solicitor in your corner, it can be much quicker than you imagine.

Where there is enough equity in the property, the partner taking on the mortgage can often find themselves making even lower payments.

Removing a name from a mortgage without refinancing

If you’re in a position to take over the mortgage without changing the payments or the term, that makes the process simpler still.

Your mortgage provider must carry out their usual checks to ensure your income and expenditure meet their criteria. If everything’s okay, the paperwork is updated, and the payment schedule remains unchanged.

Removing someone from a mortgage who isn’t paying their share

Sadly, it’s far too familiar that one party fails to keep up their side of the mortgage. The main thing to ensure when this happens is that the full payment is made each month.

When your partner isn’t paying their share, speak to your provider immediately. You might be able to take a ‘mortgage break’ or ‘mortgage holiday’ while you make the necessary changes or move onto a short-term solution to protect your home and credit score. Some lenders will help you by transferring you onto an interest-only option until you can regain control of your circumstances.

The outcome is the same whether you are paying your share or not.

If repayments aren’t paid in full, you risk losing the property. In this situation, you need to take over the mortgage, sell up and move, buy each other out, or find some way for the non-paying party to fulfil their obligations.

If you fail to meet the combined payments, even if you’re paying your share, the failure will go on both parties’ credit reports, regardless of who’s to blame.

How can I take my name off a joint mortgage?

If you need your name removed from a joint mortgage, the best thing you can do is make it as simple as possible for your mortgage partner to carry out the task. This is a typical request when removing a name from a mortgage after divorce (UK).

The responsibility of removing your name from the mortgage and land registry lies with your partner. Still, for many, it requires support and organisation to help them through the process in what can be a difficult time.

  • Ask them to buy you out
  • Consider selling the property and splitting any equity
  • Ask if they’d like to take over the mortgage
  • See if they’d like you to sell their share to a third party

If you can help them gather all the information they need and support them as they discuss their next step and options, it goes a long way to resolving the situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Remortgaging and mortgage buyouts

With a good mortgage advisor or experienced mortgage broker, practically all situations have their solutions. Taking over a mortgage when buying out a previous partner or investor might take some juggling, but with a little good advice and some sensible number crunching, you can soon find yourself the sole property owner without too much fuss.

When it comes to reorganising your mortgage, you’ll need to be able to show:

  1. You can afford to cover the payments on your sole income – which could mean switching to a mortgage that reduces your monthly payments or even boosts them if you’ve got a new partner or investor on a higher income.
  2. The new mortgage total covers any buyout costs and early repayment penalties.
  3. There’s enough equity in the property to cover the buyout costs and early repayment penalties.
  4. Your credit score qualifies you for the mortgage you need.

If you’re not sure or don’t think you can cover the mortgage, don’t despair. There are hundreds of mortgage providers who cater for every kind of eventuality. Taking a name off a mortgage (UK) is a common situation, so there are always solutions to hand.

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Gemma May

Mortgage Advisor

Gemma May

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