Entering into a mortgage bond with a co-applicant, such as a partner, family member or friend, is not an uncommon scenario. However, the question arises as to how a joint bond may be terminated in the event that a person no longer wishes to be jointly bound.

Terminating a joint bond if both parties want it cancelled

There are two ways in which a joint bond may be dealt with. One option may be that both parties may jointly decide to formally have the mortgage bond cancelled. The first step would be for the parties to give notice to the respective bank that granted the mortgage bond, of the intention to cancel the bond.

It is important to note that you must give your bank 90 days notice of the intention to cancel the mortgage bond in order to avoid the bank charging any penalties. The bank will then instruct attorneys to formally cancel the mortgage bond at the Deeds Office. The bank will issue the attorneys with cancellation figures, which is essentially the amount that is still owing on the bond plus any interest and fees which is required to be paid to the bank in order to settle what is owed on the mortgage bond. This amount must be settled by a bank issued guarantee in order for the existing mortgage bond to be cancelled.

If the property is not being sold, then the parties will need pay the amount owing into the trust account of the attorneys in order for them to issue the guarantee to the bank. Alternatively, if the parties decide to sell the property, the purchaser will need to provide a guarantee emanating from the purchase price in favour of the existing mortgage bond.

Terminating a joint bond if one party wants to be sole debtor

A second way in which joint liability may be terminated, is if one of the parties decide to take full liability for the mortgage bond, and agree to be substituted as the only debtor under the mortgage bond. The parties can then apply to the bank for a “substitution of debtor” instruction. It is important to note that the bank will do a credit assessment in order to see whether the relevant party will be able to afford the respective property on their own. The bank will then appoint attorneys to attend to this substitution of debtor at the Deeds Office.

Attorney’s fees will be payable on both the cancellation of the bond or the substitution of debtor instruction.

In addition to the above bond process, a formal transfer of ownership of the property will also need to take place, as mortgage bond liability follows ownership. Therefore, a Transferring Attorney will also need to be appointed to attend to the simultaneous transfer of the property.

A joint bond can be cancelled under certain conditions

In conclusion, a joint mortgage bond may be terminated either by wholly cancelling the mortgage bond by both parties, in which the whole outstanding mortgage bond amount must be settled. Alternatively, parties may agree that one party substitutes the other party as the only debtor of the mortgage bond, however the determination of affordability will be subject to the discretion of the bank.

Speak to a conveyancing expert

For assistance or advice with your property and associated bond, or any property and conveyancing related matter, speak to our experienced Conveyancing and Property Law attorneys.

For Conveyancing and Property Law expertise

Nicholas Hayes             nicholas@abgross.co.za

Marita Swanepoel        marita@abgross.co.za

Farzanah Mugjenkar    farzanah@abgross.co.za

Simone Da Camara      simone@abgross.co.za

David Kagan                  dgkagan@abgross.co.za



The articles on these web pages are provided for general information purposes only. Whilst care has been taken to ensure accuracy, the content provided is not intended to stand alone as legal advice. Always consult a suitably qualified attorney on any specific legal problem or matter.