by The Spouse

Ask Kate: HARP Refi - Does HARP not allow adding a new spouse to a title during the refinance process? Kate, My husband and I are refinancing under the Home Affordable Refinance Program, HARP. He bought the house shortly before we married using his income so only his name went on the title.


We were going to add me later and since the house needed to be retitled during the refinance we thought this would be the perfect time. But we were told that HARP refi guidelines won't permit him to add me to the title, even though the house is being retitled as part of the process.

No quit claim deed has been signed and only his name went on the new title even though we wanted to add me. We were married a month after we bought the house so he purchased it as a single person and refinanced as part of a married couple in a community property state if that makes a difference.

Does a HARP refi not allow adding a new spouse to a title during the refinance process? The Spouse

Kate Answers: HARP Refi - Does HARP not allow adding a new spouse to a title during the refinance process?

Greetings to the Spouse! Here is what I think taking the big picture into account. If the two of you were successful in closing the HARP refi, pat yourselves on the back. Good job!

Although you may not have accomplished the goal of adding you, the spouse, to title, hopefully your monthly house payments are more affordable due to the outrageously low interest rates available today.

Peruse the web to experience the confusion surrounding the Making Home Affordable Program, both HARP and HAMP. In addition, none of the published guidelines on the government website address your question about adding a spouse to title during a HARP refi.

Keep in mind there is a difference between adding a borrower to a mortgage, the debt instrument and being added to title to share in the ownership of the real estate. The mortgage corresponds to owing while title relates to owning.

Adding someone to title during a refinance generally means the lender requires adding them to the mortgage also. So the real issue keeping you from being added to title might be reluctance on the part of the lender to accept a co-borrower.

If the issue of title remains important to you, consider contacting a local attorney who understands the laws in your state.

I'm receiving more inquiries about HARP so I've included links to the questions and answers at the bottom of this page. Don't miss them! You can also read more about title insurance and how it is related to ownership here.

In addition, by visiting Answers by Kate To Your Refinancing Questions, you'll discover solutions based on inquiries from other homeowners in the middle of a refinance, including a couple of questions about co-borrowing.

If all the talk about a HARP refi is generating more questions, please write me back, tell me what's confusing and I'd be glad to clarify. Please come back and visit often. Help me spread the word by sharing my website with your friends. Remember, all of my information is free!

Best Wishes,



Finally! The straight scoop on HARP

Making Home Affordable Program - Is is true I can do a HARP refinance with a new lender?

Problems with HARP and Mortgage Refinancing - I am trying to refinance and really have no clue to what I am doing.

Who determines my HARP closing costs and interest rate - Do I have to shop my refinance?

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program - Can I refinance my second home using HARP?

Home Affordable Refinance Program - Should I wait for a new revision to the HARP program?

HARP Refinance Made Impossible By Subordination Agreement - How does a lender expect anyone to close a loan?

Return from HARP Refi to Get-Your-Best-Mortgage-Rate home page

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

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