Q: My son and I are both on the deed of the house, but only he is on the mortgage. He no longer wants to pay the mortgage payments. I am retired and cannot afford the mortgage. Do I need his permission to sell the house? –Nelly, New York
A: Whoa, Nelly! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) So, you and your son are co-owners of the property, meaning that you are both named on the legal title. However, he’s the only one who is named on and, thus, bound by, the mortgage.
Generally speaking, in these situations the roles are reversed — the person who is not on the mortgage is the one looking to get out of paying, and the person who is named on the mortgage is looking for a more legitimate way out.