I am the first named applicant on a joint mortage. Do I have a legal right to have the second applicant removed from this mortgage?
If a joint application for a mortgage is approved and closed, order does not matter. Each applicant is 100% responsible for the debt. The lender determines if they want to remove an applicant [now referred to as a borrower or mortgagor]. The usual process for that is a total look at the file. And that most likely means a refinancing application which would have you qualifying for the new mortgage on your own. It means a thorough analysis of your income and expenses, a new appraisal on the property, and if any monies might be due to the other mortgagor in exchange for a " Quit Claim Deed". The quit claim deed will legally change the title or ownership of the real estate. The person giving up that claim may or may not want compensation. A quit claim deed without a refinance gives up a claim to the property without being removed from the obligation to pay the debt it secures.
Something else that comes into play is whether or not you reside in a 'homestead' state. If married at the time of a refinancing transaction, the other party may be required to subrogate any marital or homestead rights to the property by SIGNING THE MORTGAGE DEED. Many people do not understand that concept because it appears that a financial obligation is being incurred when it is not. The promissory note addresses the repayment of the debt.
If this is something you are considering, you would be wise to consult with the lender to find out what procedure is needed in order to accomplish your goal. Co-operation with the other mortgagor is also important in this type of transaction. Do not make the assumption that a court order supercedes signatures on a promissory note. You want to make sure that things are done properly so that each party does not have any unexpected encumberances.
No, you do not have permission to remove the the co-borrower on your loan. The loan is a legal contract between you, the co-borrower and the lender. The only way to achieve this is through a refinance. If you need help with a refinance, I would suggest working with one of the professionals at this site in your home state. You search for on in the directory tab on the top right of the home page.
You can however, have the co-borrower removed from title which would change the ownership of the property. Just contact the title company in your area to get the necessary paperwork.