DEBTOR WANTS TO PUT HOME IN WIFE’S SOLE NAME
Q. I am near retirement and currently drawing jobseekers allowance. It is my wish to transfer ownership of my house to my wife. However, there are a few judgements on the house relating to money I owe to financial institutions. In this situation, can I transfer the house into her sole name, where she will have no liability for these debts? And would it cost me anything to transfer the house into her name?
A. Unfortunately, the short answer to your question is no. Obviously, your creditors have gone through the courts and got judgments against you in relation to monies you owe them. They have then gone and registered these judgments against your home, or, in other words, obtained a Judgment Mortgage on the property.
A judgment mortgage may be registered against your home even if the debt is in your sole name and the title to the home is in the joint names of yourself and your wife who may have absolutely no liability for the debt in question. Normally it is necessary to obtain the consent of a spouse to allow a charge to be registered on the family home but this is not the case with a judgment mortgage.
This judgment mortgage has essentially the same effect as a conventional mortgage and therefore any dealings with the title to the property – such as transferring it into the sole name of your wife – can only be done with the consent of the holders of the judgment mortgages. Sadly this consent is unlikely to be given.