There are often questions from buyers and sellers alike concerning the need for spousal signatures on real estate documents. The saying “one to buy, two to sell” is technically accurate but, as with many other things, it’s just not that simple.
In Kentucky, the right of dower and curtesy has survived the 21st century. These rights are outlined within Chapter 392 of the Kentucky Revised Statues. The implication of this surviving statute is the need for a spousal signature when selling property and when securing a mortgage to buy property regardless of whether both parties will appear on the title. A spousal signature on a mortgage releases the dower and curtesy rights of the party in the event of foreclosure. Should a party be able to purchase real estate without a mortgage, the axiom stands true, it takes “one to buy”. In all other cases, it takes two.
A two party signature on a mortgage does not automatically make both parties liable for repayment of the note. In order to make both parties responsible for repayment, both parties need to sign the note expressing their intent to repay. Spousal signatures on notes are not required to mortgage property jointly to a married couple.
It is important to remember if you are a married and looking to secure real estate individually, leaving your spouse out of the loan process does not always make for smooth sailing. Loans applications are often declined due to poor credit scores and lack of financial stability. If your individual income is not sufficient to clear application standards, your spouse will also need to sign the note agreeing to the debt. On the other hand, it might be a good idea to leave your spouse off of the loan application should their credit score be unsatisfactory.
In short, when selling property, all parties on the deed must sign to relinquish their interest therein. When buying property in Kentucky, if you are married, both spouses must sign mortgages associated with the property whether or not they appear on the note and deed. Many times, real estate transactions require complicated legal analysis. If you have questions, please feel free to call Ann Myre at Denton Law Firm located in Paducah, Kentucky, at (270) 450-8253.