Borrowing against jointly owned property against wishes of the other co-owner

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Borrowing against jointly owned property against wishes of the other co-owner

In Calif., if a couple owns property together, can one spouse obtain a loan using the property as collateral without the other spouse’s permission or knowledge?

Asked on May 25, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a California attorney, so I can't tell you that it's against the law, although it's unusual for a lender to be willing to give a loan on jointly owned collateral when only one of the co-owners is signing for it.

There have been unscrupulous people who have signed their spouse's name to loan papers without their knowledge -- but this is both fraud against both the lender and the unknowing spouse, and in many cases a criminal offense as well.

If your spouse has done this, or you suspect that he or she has done this, you should talk to a local attorney about your rights.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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