When you can and can’t claim homeowner tax breaks

Couple worried because names aren't on mortgage

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DEAR BOB: My husband and I recently purchased our first home. Although we both earn good money, our credit isn't so good. On the advice of our mortgage consultant, we obtained an interest-only 100 percent mortgage in my father's name. Both of our names are on the title, but not on the mortgage. It was explained to us that in six months my father would sign a quitclaim deed and title will be in our names alone. Can my husband and I claim the tax deductions on the house although we are not listed on the mortgage? We will be making the payments. To do a quitclaim deed, must we refinance the mortgage in our names at that time? --Josette R. DEAR JOSETTE: Because your names are on the title to your personal residence, you are obligated to pay the mortgage and property tax payments or lose the property by default. Therefore, you are entitled to claim itemized income-tax deductions for the mortgage interest and property taxes you pay. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Your name...