Is the Wife Recorded on a Deed if Not on a Mortgage?

A wife retains her rights to her marital residence whether she's on the deed, mortgage, both or neither. If you're purchasing your first home, it is not always clear which document serves which purpose. The deed is the official record of ownership on your home. A mortgage is lender's claim against the home when you've obtained financing. The names on the documents depend on individual circumstances.


The deed is the instrument that grants ownership of a home. It lists the grantor -- the seller -- and the grantee -- the buyer. It describes the property and the consideration -- the sales amount -- for which it was purchased. The deed is signed by all parties and witnessed by a third party. Once the document is fully executed and witnessed, it is recorded with the county clerk, making your ownership official and of record. In the case of a married couple, the deed does not need to be in both names, but typically is.


A mortgage is an instrument recorded against your house that gives a lender a claim to it. When you take a loan, you offer your house as collateral. If you don't pay, the bank gets your house. Like the deed, it is recorded with the county clerk, but that doesn't mean the lender owns your property. It can't dictate what you do with it. It only exercise its rights when you don't make your payments. Both deed holders don't need to be on the mortgage, but both have to consent.

Mortgage as Co-Borrowers

When a husband and wife own a home where both names are on the deed, it is common for both to apply for the mortgage. The lender uses both incomes to qualify the couple and both husband and wife are on all the loan documents, including the mortgage. The mortgage with both signatures is recorded at the county clerk along with the deed.

Mortgage With Spousal Consent

If a husband applies for a loan without his wife, he still needs her consent. Since the property is the couple's marital residence, he can't get a loan without her knowledge and approval. The husband will sign all the loan documents, including the mortgage, himself. The mortgage will be recorded at the county clerk. His wife will sign a spousal consent form to be kept on file with the mortgage. Even though the wife is on the deed, she doesn't need to be on the recorded mortgage if she's given her consent.

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