Author Topic: Living in community property state and wanting to marry, but...  (Read 2170 times)

Fitzy

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Living in community property state and wanting to marry, but...
« on: September 30, 2013, 02:02:39 PM »
boyfriend has bad debts and an out-of-state non-community property house foreclosure to his name, can the bank go after me to pay his old debts once married?

I have excellent credit.  I know that if we lived in a non-community property state, I wouldn't have to worry as much.  He has been trying and doing really well to rebuild his credit, but honestly, there is no way the house loan can be repaid at this stage.

We would really like to get married, but not if his past will bite us in the end.

His loan was through a bank, not the government, if that clarifies any.  We also have no plans of buying a house as we can't afford house prices here.  We rent.  And any small loans, if ever, will just be me applying.

Thanks.

marty998

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Re: Living in community property state and wanting to marry, but...
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 03:45:34 PM »
There's something weirdly biblical about this...sins of the father etc. Boyfriend's debts being transferred to you seems to go against some fundamental principal of freedom. Till debt do us part? No wonder marriage is likened to being chained together.

Suggest you do some homework, and read the very fine print on your BF's mortgage docs. You sound switched on enough to be able to understand the consequences, so I reckon you should be easily able to find what you need if you look hard enough.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Living in community property state and wanting to marry, but...
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 04:39:04 PM »
This article may prove informative. Community property laws are slightly different in each community property state. In general, any property or debt that one spouse had before the marriage will continue to belong solely to that spouse after getting married. Any earnings or debt that come to either spouse after getting married belong to both members of the community equally. That might mean that the bank could go after community earnings in order to pay your husband's debt if he falls behind on payments, since he will have just as much claim to your salary as you will (and vice versa). Any savings you have from before the marriage are likely safe, so long as you take care to keep these funds in separate accounts to establish your intent to keep that property separate from the community property pool. In the event that you do get divorced before the pre-existing debt is repaid, the debt would follow him alone.

This really is something you should run by a lawyer from your state before you get married. They'll probably have some advice for agreements you can make to keep your pre-existing property and debts separate to the satisfaction of your state's laws.

DoubleDown

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Re: Living in community property state and wanting to marry, but...
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2013, 07:44:13 AM »
I'd like to add that regardless of the legal considerations, the practical consideration is that you will very much "inherit" this debt through marriage. What I mean is, even if (and that's a pretty big "if") you are able to determine that you are not legally on the hook to pay off this debt once married, what would you do if your then-husband is being sued or in collections for these debts? How could you realistically separate your money and finances in a situation where he is financially drowning, while you are happily swimming along? I'm not saying it's impossible, but I think the reality is you'll find it very hard to separate his situation from your own once married.

My two cents is, I would not get married until these debts are 100% cleared and you are confident he has gotten his financial act together, so to speak.