Do I Have Rights To My Husband’s Property?

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My husband and I have been married for 30 years and reside in Oregon. Several years ago we purchased a property in California. He did not want me to sign this loan to protect me should he pass away (I would not be liable for the debt). Is this true?

There are two separate issues, here. First, there is the property itself. The mortgage lender will have some sort of lien on the property to secure their loan. That means that if they don’t get paid, they can foreclose on the property regardless of who owns it. The debt and the lien don’t go away if your husband dies.

The second issue is personal liability, and that’s much more complicated. It depends on the debt collection laws in the two different states and how they interact, on what kinds of assets you have and how they are held, on what was and wasn’t disclosed to the lender when you took out the loan, and probably other factors that I’m not thinking of off the top of my head. The short answer is, it depends.