Asked by Leonard Hussey  |  Submitted February 24, 2015

I own a duplex with my daughter. She wants out. My husband is not a citizen, he is German and works there. I am on Social Security. Can we refi?

My husband has a mortgage in his name in Germany. I have Social Security and rental income from property. He does not file federal income tax. The property is valued at $180,000 and mortgage is $180,000. Interest rate is under 4%. The property is in Providence, Rhode Island.

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  Answers  |  4

February 24, 2015

You will need the access of a Rhode Island Real Estate Attorney.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 01.24.17 @ 21:49

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February 25, 2015

Income, residency, and credit questions aside, if you have an investment property, with NO equity, under 4%, there are no options for a lower rate. Even if you had 20% equity, you still wouldn't be able to improve the loan. Congrats, you have a loan far better than almost all other investment property borrowers!

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 01.24.17 @ 21:49

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February 25, 2015

As far as your daughter wanting out, that could conceivably be considered a net benefit, but the lack of equity doesn't leave you with any refinance options, unless you qualify for a HARP refinance, and then you have to address your husband's residency status, German income and home, and lack of US income. I am afraid you have no options, given your scenario.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 01.24.17 @ 21:49

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May 17, 2016

I'm surprised no one asked the question, "Is your daughter going to pay you in $$ to get out from under the duplex and it's mortgage?" Or is she just going to walk away, leaving you with the entire mortgage to pay?

In that event, you'll have to consider renting the other duplex unit. Look through Craigslist or elsewhere to find comparable rentals in your area, and consider hiring a property management company or real estate agent who specializes in rental properties to manage the duplex for you.

The other obvious question is whether your husband, living in Germany, is sending you any sort of spousal support monthly? If he was a resident of Rhode Island and subsequently returned to Germany, you may have a cause of action against his income or wealth in the Rhode Island family courts. Speak to 2 or 3 family law attorneys, and get a free consultation from each of them. It is normal for attorneys to give prospective clients a free consultation, so ask when you call for an appointment. Perhaps you can even get the attorney to call you back for 15 to 30 minutes without obligating yourself to pay for the time.

$commenter.renderDisplayableName() | 01.24.17 @ 21:49

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