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If the title to real property is vested in a entireties estate, a money judgment would only attach if it is against BOTH the husband and the wife UNLESS the judgment is a Federal Tax Lien.

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βˆ™ 2009-02-22 14:15:09
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Q: If real property is held by husband and wife as tenants by the entireties does a judgment against one attach to the property?
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If you are unmarried when you originally purchase real property in both names deed and mortgage and subsequently get married does the property become tenants in entireties?

No. In order to create an entireties estate the parties would need to execute and record a deed from John Doe and Mary Doe, formally known as Mary Maiden Name (assuming Mary changed her name), husband and wife, to John Doe and Mary Doe, husband and wife (in some states, and in others, husband and wife as an estate by the entireties). The deed should have specific language stating that its purpose is to create an estate by the entireties. Until this is done, the property would remain in Joint Tenancy.


If one spouse has a judgment against them in Florida can the creditor pursue or force the sale of a Connecticut property that is held by joint tenancy?

Generally yes, against the husband's interest only. However, they would need to find the property first and obtain a judgment in Connecticut.


Can they place a lien on your business property in Maryland for a deficiency judgment which is against you ex-husband in addition to you?

If both parties are named in the judgment, then a lien can be placed against the property of either or both parties. There may be, however, the possibility of appeal and removal of one party due to the dissolution of marriage.


Can a lien be placed against a property which is only in the wife's name when the judgment is against the husband only?

No. If the property has always been in wife's name then it cannot be encumbered by a creditor of the husband. However, if the property was recently transferred by the husband and wife to the wife then the creditor may claim the transfer was a fraudulent conveyance and lacking any or significant consideration was made for the purposes of protecting the property from a creditor. A fraudulent conveyance will not protect the property from the husband's debt and may cause further problems.


A creditor won a judgment against me and the estate of my marriage for a debt incurred prior to my marriage can my husband's wages be garnished to collect on this judgment?

If the husband was not liable for the debt, then his wages cannot be garnished to collect on the judgment. The judgment is against the person who incurred the debt.


When a judgment is awarded against a man and wife and his company and the husband files bankruptcy on the company but the wife is not a party to the bankruptcy can her wages be garnished?

If both persons were sued and a judgment awarded but only the husband filed bankruptcy and included the debt; the judgment can still be executed against any non-exempt property belonging to the wife and perhaps jointly owned property as well. The legal presumption is that the debt is still owed because it was jointly incurred.


How do you protect a bank account from a judgment?

It depends on the laws of your state. What usually happens is the judgment order is served on the bank. The bank puts a hold on the entire account. Then it is decided by the court, which funds will be exempt from the account. The other account holder has to file papers claiming the amount that belongs to them. In a community property state the entire account can be garnished. In some states, (like Florida) marital accounts are considered "entireties" and cannot be attached unless there are joint debtors. In states that do not assume marital accounts are held "by the entireties," you can add those words to the account contract (in the case of bank accounts, usually the signature card or the form opening the account). I just went to my bank and said I wanted to change our joint account to "by the entireties" and the bank told me what to do. Only husbands and wives can hold a joint accounts by the entireties. Generally, debtors cannot seize accounts or other property held by the entireties (including houses) if only one of the account holders owes the debt. I believe ALL non-community property states recognize accounts held by the entireties. As to real property, you only need to deed the property from yourselves as joint tenants to yourselves as joint tenants by the entirety. You need to change the account before you fall behind on any debt or the debtor could use your state fraudulent conveyance/transfer act to void the transfer. There are many defenses to these acts, so check your local law to see if you can protect your property even if you currently behind on a debt. __________________________________________________ Many states determine that a joint account is equally owned by the account holders. Thus, if a husband and wife have a joint account, but husband is a judgment debtor, only 50% of the account funds could be attached by the judgment.


How do you protect joint bank accounts from a judgment creditor?

It depends on the laws of your state. What usually happens is the judgment order is served on the bank. The bank puts a hold on the entire account. Then it is decided by the court, which funds will be exempt from the account. The other account holder has to file papers claiming the amount that belongs to them. In a community property state the entire account can be garnished. In some states, (like Florida) marital accounts are considered "entireties" and cannot be attached unless there are joint debtors. In states that do not assume marital accounts are held "by the entireties," you can add those words to the account contract (in the case of bank accounts, usually the signature card or the form opening the account). I just went to my bank and said I wanted to change our joint account to "by the entireties" and the bank told me what to do. Only husbands and wives can hold a joint accounts by the entireties. Generally, debtors cannot seize accounts or other property held by the entireties (including houses) if only one of the account holders owes the debt. I believe ALL non-community property states recognize accounts held by the entireties. As to real property, you only need to deed the property from yourselves as joint tenants to yourselves as joint tenants by the entirety. You need to change the account before you fall behind on any debt or the debtor could use your state fraudulent conveyance/transfer act to void the transfer. There are many defenses to these acts, so check your local law to see if you can protect your property even if you currently behind on a debt. __________________________________________________ Many states determine that a joint account is equally owned by the account holders. Thus, if a husband and wife have a joint account, but husband is a judgment debtor, only 50% of the account funds could be attached by the judgment.


Can you put a lien on your exhusbands property due to back spouse support?

You would need to bring a court action against him and obtain a judgment in your favor. The judgment lien can then be recorded in the land records and your ex-husband couldn't refinance or sell the property unless he paid the lien.


What happens if husband dies and house was under his name yet wife has a longstanding judgment against her. Does plaintiff with judgment against the wife get the property or does the wife get it?

If the wife has no interest in the property, meaning that her name was never on title, then she doesn't own it. If she doesn't own it...they cannot take the property away from her. I would reccomend a title search to make sure that she was never on any deeds. Good luck.


Can a lien be placed against a property which is in tenancy of the entirety but the judgment is against the husband only?

No. In most states that allow property ownership as "tenants in their entirety", a lien can only be placed against a property if all owners of record are included in the judgment. However, laws vary and most creditors will record the lien "just in case" the tenancy changes. The tenancy by the entirety could be broken by a death or divorce or if one partner conveys their interest to the other.


If a husband is sued for a auto accident and a judgment is entered solely against him can his wife's wages be garnished for his judgment?

No. Even if the couple reside in a community property state, the wife would be able to use the innocent spouse defense to prevent the judgment from being executed against her as income garnishment. However, all other marital property, including bank accounts, other non exempt assets and jointly held real property would be subject to the execution of the judgment. The exception would be any marital property held as Tenancy By The Entirety according to the laws of the state in which the couple reside.

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