Can I get my named removed from a joint debt?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I get my named removed from a joint debt?

I filed for separation over 6 months ago. We have a number of jointly owned rental properties that he quit paying on last year. He has made some

payments but my credit is shot and still behind on payments. He had the

money for payments but chose not to pay for other investments. How can I

force the sale or get my name off the debt? I don’t have any extra money

and just getting by.

Asked on November 5, 2018 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't get your name off the debts: your obligation to creditors, service providers, etc. is NOT affected by your separation, since those third parties were not party to your marriage or separation; that is, what happens with your marraige has no effect on your obligations or debts.
You can go to court and seek a court order compelling the sale of jointly owned properties; any joint or co-owner can compel the sale of jointly owned real estate. (The legal action to do so is commonly called an action "for partition," though your state may have a different name for it.) The court will order their sale and that the proceeds of the sale be applied first to the costs of the sale and second to any mortgages, HELOCs, liens, or other encumbrances on the property. Any remaining money will be distrirbuted between the owners (you and your husband). Consult with an attorney about his option if you wish to explore it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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