734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

REAL ESTATE 30: Mortgage invalid because wife did not join her husband in signing it.

In 1979, plaintiff purchased real estate pursuant to a land contract. Plaintiff married her husband in 1981. In 1985, plaintiff conveyed the property to herself and her husband via a recorded quitclaim deed.

In 1992, the husband unilaterally granted a mortgage on the property in favor of himself to secure a debt. The mortgage described the husband as a single man and plaintiff’s name does not appear anywhere in the recorded document. Under the mortgage’s terms, payment was due in March 1993.

Plaintiff and her husband paid off the land contract, and in 1994 the property was deeded to plaintiff. The husband died in 2015, leaving plaintiff as the sole remaining owner of the property.

In November 2017, plaintiff brought a suit to quiet title and to extinguish defendant’s mortgage. Defendant filed a counterclaim, requesting that the trial court declare the mortgage valid and enter a monetary judgment against plaintiff for the unpaid balance of the mortgage plus interest.

Plaintiff moved the trial court for summary disposition under MCR 2.116(C)(7), (8) and (10). She argued that she and her husband co-owned the property as tenants by the entirety and that the mortgage was invalid because she did not join her husband in signing it.

In response, defendant contended that the mortgage was valid because plaintiff subsequently ratified it. The trial court agreed with plaintiff and granted her summary disposition and quiet title. The court also determined that defendant’s counterclaim was barred by the statute of limitations.

In Michigan, a conveyance of real property to a husband and wife is presumed to create a tenancy by the entirety. Each spouse is considered to be an owner of the whole property, and neither spouse has an individual interest in the property separate from the other spouse.

When a married couple holds real property as tenants by the entirety, neither spouse acting by themselves can alienate or encumber their interest in the property.  A husband or wife must receive the consent of their spouse before conveying or encumbering an interest in the property.

Are you involved in a real estate dispute in Michigan? Are you seeking an efficient and effective resolution to a property litigation matter?

To schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced real estate litigation attorneys, contact our law office in Plymouth, Michigan.

Contact Aldrich Legal Services

Basic responsibilities of an executor

Originally posted on 01/11/2017 The emotional toils of dealing with the death of a loved one can be considerably difficult. Nevertheless, perseverance is paramount; especially if you are appointed to be an executor to one’s...

What you need to compliment your will

Originally posted on 02/08/2017 Making end-of-life plans usually end with a will, but they shouldn't. Some believe that simply having a will is enough. However, this post will briefly explain how having other estate planning...

The benefits of home health care providers

Originally posted on 03/22/2017 As we get older or suffer an injury, we need a little extra help. Home health care providers or caregivers can provide the assistance needed to handle your or your loved one's health and safety...

What to know about bail conditions

Originally posted on 03/06/2017 If you have been arrested and are being held on the suspicion that you have committed a particular crime, chances are that the only thing you are thinking about is getting out of jail as soon as possible and...

College students and estate planning

Originally posted on 12/16/2016 With college semesters starting up in Michigan, it may not be so easy to get college students to think responsibly. This time can be especially tough with the need of moving back to school and getting...

Three reasons to put a power of attorney in place

Originally posted on 11/08/2016 While no one wants to think of the unfortunate possibility of being incapacitated or of a time when we can't handle our own affairs, this circumstance is a real possibility. If something happens and this...

How to approach parents about estate planning

Originally posted on 12/09/2016 Family forms a strong foundation for many people's first and most intimate community. It is important to strengthen these first relationships so even uncommon questions become natural. For those...

PROBATE 44: Petition for Mental Health Treatment

Michigan’s Mental Health Code governs the civil admission and discharge procedures for a person with a mental illness. Specifically, MCL 330.1434 sets forth the procedure and content requirements for a petition for mental health treatment.

Should you get your criminal record expunged?

Originally posted on 04/12/2017 If you have been convicted of a crime, have served your sentence, and have followed all court recommendations, you should be able to put your past behind you and move on with life. Moving forward is critical...

Choosing the right executor for an estate

Originally posted on 05/28/2017 When people are thinking about planning their estate, they often think about trying to minimize the estate tax, keeping their will updated, and keeping items out of probate court; however, there is another...

Understanding how the Miranda warning works

Originally posted on 11/25/2016 Michigan residents who have seen television police shows or movies involving law enforcement have no doubt watched many dramatic scenes with officers quoting something to the effect of, "You have the...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405