Am I liable for any real estate my husband acquires while we are married?

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Am I liable for any real estate my husband acquires while we are married?

Husband is buying a condo for his mother and putting her name on it for a lower mortgage rate– she has no assets. If he cannot pay the mortgage at any time, am I liable for the mortgage even if I am not on the title?

Asked on March 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, District of Columbia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No and yes.

No, in the sense that if you do not own the real estate and are not a signatory to the loan, you are not personally liable for it.

Yes, in the sense that if your husband cannot pay and creditors (e.g. the bank) come after him, they could go after his "share" of jointly owned assets, such as garnishing money in a joint bank account or putting  a lien on other property the two of you own. They could also garnish his income, which could clearly have an impact on your family's finances. So to the extent that you and your husband have your finances or assets intertwined or intermingled, you are at risk from your husband's taking out this mortgage.


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