Question on responsibility of husband not on deed or mortgage not in MA?

Asked by Confused?, Boston, MA Wed May 19, 2010

I live in Boston, MA and my wife and I are on the verge of foreclosure. My name is not on the deed or mortgage note as she bought the condo before we were married. What is my liability for the condo and what is the impact on my credit score if my wife defaults on the loan?

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Louis Wolfson’s answer
Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Sat Oct 9, 2010
Do you and she live in the condo? I assume you do not. Or you would be making the payments. If that is the case let it go by giving the deed back, quicker than foreclosure. Cut your losses and move on.

You are not liable nor will it effect your credit, at least in regards to the mortgage she has on the condo. Any other loans or credit cards that she is on and if she is behind will effect both of you. Going forward her financial issues will only effect you if as stated below both of you will be looking for loans or credit together.
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Bob Movin-On, , Hartford, CT
Fri May 21, 2010
You not being on the deed and mortgage will not directly affect your credit, but indirectly it will. If you ever plan on buying a home together in the future and need to use both incomes she will need to be on the mortgage meaning the bank will check her credit and require her foreclosure to have matured 5 to 7 years.
My advise would be to get on the phone with the bank NOW they do not want to foreclose on your home, there are modification packages out there that they can offer. Yes, last resort would be a short sale then deed-in-lieu-of but these are forms of foreclosure and will adversely affect her credit as well.

Good Luck
Bob Patrick
Buy a home after foreclosure expert
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Dp2, , Virginia
Thu May 20, 2010
Actually, she has several options, but she'll have to move quickly. Lisa already presented the short-sale option. Other options are: deed in lieu, or sell with creative financing.

Please feel free to drop me a line.
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Matt Heisler, Agent, Westborough, MA
Thu May 20, 2010
You'll have to look at the whole credit picture. If she pays the mortgage by defaulting on your joint accounts (credit , etc) then your credit will be affected, just not by the mortgage. Also, if the plan here is to walk from the foreclosure and buy something else, as a married couple, you will likely have to purchase the next home jointly, and her credit will affect you both.
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Joe Arnao, Agent, Sanwich, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
One case, a the house was under one name only, the other spouse was able to qualify for first time home buyer programs. There are possibilities. Get a good attorney then talk to a lender. You may be able to get another home!
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Adrian Lee M…, , Boston, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
Lisa is correct in saying if you are not on the deed or the mortgage, the responsibility is not transfer to you. Think of it as if you had a student loan you default on. She wouldn't be effected.
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Lisa Johnson…, Agent, Newburyport, MA
Wed May 19, 2010
If you aren't on the deed or the mortgage and she purchased before you were married you are most likely not at fault unless you have a prenuptual agreement that suggests otherwise in which case you would have to review that document.
When in doubt consult a real estate attorney to be 100% clear.
I am clearly not an attorney but I have encountered similar issues with customers facing foreclosure.
Have you and your wife discussed short sale as an option? If approved by the lender the impact on credit is not as dramatic as a foreclosure.
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