Husband and Wife Must Both Sign HELOC

Husband and Wife Must Both Sign HELOC

  Question:  We have owned our Sunnyslope home as community property with right of survivorship for almost 20 years. The original mortgage is in the name of myself and my wife. We borrowed $100,000 on a home equity line of credit (HELOC) ten years ago.  We noticed recently that the HELOC is only in my name. Is this HELOC legal?

  Answer:  Yes. Although the HELOC is legal, the HELOC is not enforceable as a mortgage against the home. The reason is that the signatures of both the husband and the wife are required to mortgage a home owned as community property with right of survivorship. The HELOC is enforceable, however, against any of your sole and separate property.

  Note:  Ten years ago the real estate market was still very strong, and mortgage lenders were breaking many rules in making as many mortgages to homeowners as possible, as quickly as possible. The result was that there were many careless errors in mortgage lending at that time.

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