Can Mortgage Refi Add Borrower - Expired Rate Lock

by Jodi in Sacramento, CA, Amy in Miami, FL, and Candace in Balto, MD

Ask Kate about refinance vs loan assumption to add a borrower to the mortgage and how to get lower interest rates before lock agreements expire: Jodi is on the title with her husband to their rental property. But he is the only borrower on the financing. She's perplexed by the bank's resistance to add her to the mortgage.


(Continued...) Amy's bank mailed her new paperwork for re-locking, without disclosing whether or not lower mortgage rates were available. She asks me how she can make an informed decision prior to signing.

Candace does not think she will qualify to refinance her HAMP mortgage after the divorce yet she must remove her ex-spouse's name from the mortgage. (This question and answer is found below in the comment section.)

Refinancing Income Property to Add Borrower's Name

By Jodi from Sacramento, CA
Refinancing Income Property to Add Borrower's Name


I am on the deed of my husband's and my income property but my husband is the only borrower on the mortgage.

I have not been making the mortgage payment from my bank account, but from our joint account.

My loan officer is telling me that I cannot refinance the income property without my husband on the refi because the mortgage payments weren't made from my personal account.

I qualify otherwise. I am perplexed.

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Refinancing Income Property to Add Borrower's Name

Hi Jodi,

If you were asking for a joint mortgage to be refinanced individually in your name, it would be one thing. In fact, to prepare for divorce, many couples refinance to remove a spouse's name while dividing assets and liabilities.

But it's complicated when a homeowner (such as you), who is on title but not the promissory note, tries to refinance a property. The problem is this... The asset (house) belongs to you but you are not obligated on the note (mortgage).

Inquire Into Loan Assumption

However, since you otherwise qualify for the house payment, I suggest going back to the servicer of the lender who holds the note and ask if they'd allow you to assume the mortgage since you are an owner of the home.

Be sure to ask loan servicing about the entire cost including title charges for simultaneously removing your husband's name and adding yours.

Think About Refinancing Jointly

Alternately, have you considered refinancing with your husband? Doing it this way, the refinance would result in both of you holding title and co-borrowing on the mortgage.

Prepare to Refinance Your Mortgage

Or as a last resort, ask the lender if they would refinance the home solely in your name after the mortgage payments have been paid from your personal account for six months.

The Difference Between Owning and Owing

The difference between holding title and borrowing on a mortgage is more than a technicality. All homeowners should know the difference between owning and owing so they do not inadvertently give away ownership of their home. Learn more at How to Sell Your House Safely - Title vs Mortgage.
Best wishes,


Mortgage Rate Lock Expiration with HARP Refinance

By Amy from Miami, FL
Mortgage Rate Lock Expiration with HARP Refinance


I am in the middle of refinancing through my actual lender with the HARP program.

Back in December I locked the interest to their offer of 4.5%. Now, that lock period is almost to expire, and I know that the rates are actually lower than that.

My lender has send me new papers to re-lock at the same previous rates, without giving me the explanation or opportunity of knowing that I may obtain a better rate.

I have not signed those papers yet because I would like to know what is the actual rate today.

What could I do in order to be sure and informed about my decision prior to sign?

***zz-portrait-left.shtml*** Ask Kate answers: Mortgage Rate Lock Expiration with HARP Refinance

Hi Amy,

Infuriating isn't it? Besides HAMP and HARP, I get the most pleas for help from frustrated borrowers regarding interest rate locks, especially following volatility in the after financial markets.

The first thing to do is pull out your mortgage interest rate lock agreement. Keep in mind, lenders are allowed to set their own rules on locking, re-locking, and lock expirations. But the lock agreement which details the lender's complete policy must be given in writing to the borrower.

Refer to Your Written Mortgage Rate Lock Agreement

If indeed you did sign such a disclosure, it will tell you not only company policies but the rate at which you locked and its expiration date. It will also include instructions for re-locking and extending a lock.

Learn to Get Rate Lock Answers While Shopping for Lenders

Some companies are more generous than others when it comes to re-locking and extending rates before they expire. So borrowers need to equip themselves to question loan originators before deciding on a lender.

Click on this link for questions to help you dig deeper for details while comparison shopping... Questions to Ask Before Locking In a Mortgage Rate.
Besides mortgage rate lock expiration dates, there are three dates that all borrowers should be aware of... Ask About These Four Crucial Expiration Dates Before Locking Mortgage Rates.
Best wishes,


Have You Seen These Ask Kate Answers

Got questions? You are invited to ask Kate for answers. Or post a quick comment or related question by clicking the link near the bottom of this page. ***zzz-link-harp-news.shtml*** ***zz-newsletter.shtml***

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Ex-Wife Holds Mortgage but Both on Deed
by: Bill from Rutland, Vermont

My ex-wife and I are both on the Deed and she holds the mortgage. But she has fallen way behind on it and it's getting into foreclosure.

I am living at the house and would like to buy it but how? It is not worth the payoff!


Hi Bill, Kate here...

Call your loan servicer and see if they will make an exception to allow a short sale between the two of you, assuming your Ex agrees to cooperate.

Best wishes, Kate

HAMP Modification, Loan Assumption, and Divorce
by: Candace P. from Balto, MD

Kate, How can I get my ex's name off the HAMP loan after the divorce? I do not think I will qualify, if I have to refi.

Thanks, Candace

Hi Candace, Kate here...

You aren't alone in this quandry.

Follow these links to letters from two other borrowers in similar predicaments. Their questions are followed by my answers...
  1. Mortgage Assumption After Mortgage Modification.

  2. HAMP Loan Modification and Your Credit After Divorce.
Best wishes, Kate

Click here to add your own comment.

You can also ask Kate about your mortgage at Refinancing Advice The Nuts and Bolts.

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