AmI responsible for a mortgage my wife has gotten to purchase a property without my permission?

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AmI responsible for a mortgage my wife has gotten to purchase a property without my permission?

My wife invested in a property without discussing it. If she defaults, am I legally responsible to make payment? She said I can sign papers she can have drawn up excluding me from obligation. I never heard of such a thing. Is this possible and will it hold up if the property is foreclosed on? I am not on the deed or loan papers.

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A spouse is not liable for the debts of the other spouse unless: they live in a community property state; the other spouse agrees to be responsible for it, or (in some states) the debt was incurred for the benefit of the household. Since none of these appeat to be a factor in your case, you would bear no legal liability for this mortgage (or its default).

That having been said, to the extent that you share joint non-exempt assets with your wife, they are at risk. For example, joint bank accounts, etc. So you may want to keep as much separate as possible in the event that there is a default of this mortgage. This is true no matter what type of agreement that you two may may sign. That's because such an agreement would be between you and her, not the potential creditor. However, it would allow you to sue her for reimbursement for any costs that you may be out-of-pocket.


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