Florida is *NOT* a community property state.
Florida *IS* an equitable distribution state.
In Florida, all property acquired and income earned during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to â€œequitable distribution.â€ Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, although 50-50 is the norm. Note that property acquired prior to the marriage and property acquired by gift or inheritance, even during the marriage, is excluded.
There are certain lending guidelines which require that the non-borrowing spouse's credit is checked in community property states when doing a government (FHA, VA, USDA) loan, but there is no such requirement in non-community property states, and if you are in a community property state and you are using conventional financing there is no requirement to check the non-borrowing spouse's credit either.
There is *NOTHING* that says MERS has to be checked on a non-borrowing spouse either. Thumbs up for Steve Vinson on that one. MERS is checked though on a majority of transactions, our underwriters check it on every loan. But we only check the borrowers MERS records, not the non-borrowing spouses, or the borrowers other family members.
Like Steve Vinson says, in the situation of a non-community property state or even in a community propery state but using conventional financing, there may be concern from the underwriter on what your current living situation is, or what your spouse's situation is... but that is a lender specific concern, that would not be an "industry wide standard" by any means.
Gemgem67 - since you are not on the loan, and if you are not on the title of the property, and if your spouse isn't going to be on the new loan, then I wouldn't be terribly concerned with this, as we are doing a purchase for someone in an *actual* community property state, here in California, and using conventional financing. The non-borrowing spouse's credit wasn't checked, they did not have their MERS record checked, and the non-borrowing spouse is actually in foreclosure/doing a short sale on a home that the borrower is not on nor on the mortgage of. Our underwriters were fine with it, we even had a mortgage insurance provider review and approve it as well since it was less than 20% down. So if two very thorough reviews were done, and we're *in* a community property state, that is why I think you won't have any issues if your situation is as I described.
If your wife is going to be on the new mortgage, then I honestly doubt it'd even get to the point where an underwriter would be reviewing it, it'd be stopped dead in it's tracks when the credit was pulled and the loan officer saw severe mortgage delinquency OR when the schedule of real estate was being completed and your wife disclosed she owns another home, it's address, the mortgage, etc. OR when the declarations section of the application is completed and it asks if you have owned another home in the past 3 years and the details of it. For a loan officer to fail picking up that information *3* times would be very rare, unless it was actually omitted/covered up by your wife.
Hope the way I foresee it working out is the way it goes down for you.