Pisgah Forest, NC asked in Collections for North Carolina

Q: I executed a new deed adding wife a year ago in NC. Can an unsecured creditor of my wife attach a lien or sever the TBE?

The debt was incurred while we were married but before adding her name to the house. The debt is a credit card. I plan on settling with them but in the meantime I don't want our house to be in jeopardy.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If the house is titled in both husband and wife names as "tenants by the entirety" or "as husband and wife", a judgment for money owed is not a lien on the property so long as the non debtor spouse is alive. Without seeing the deed itself, this is just general legal advice. If your wife has a large amount of credit card debt in her name only, she should have a consultation with a qualified consumer bankruptcy attorney before deciding to settle the account. Settlements have tax consequences, debts discharged in bankruptcy do not. Many offer free consultations, so it would not hurt to have the consultation prior to making a final decision.

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