Tryon, NE asked in Family Law, Real Estate Law, Collections and Municipal Law for Nebraska

Q: How can I protect myself and my property from debtors who are suing my girlfriend, whose name is on the deed also ?

We've been together 20yrs, but never married. We are both on Social Security Disability, and rely on each other in times of need. Her name is on the deed simply because I have no living relatives to leave anything to. (I've paid for the property outright from an inheritance) She's currently being sued, and recently received a summons. She simply ignored all of this. Can I get her name off the deed, or is it too late, since she's been legally served ? Can her debtors take the property even if my names on it also ?

2 Lawyer Answers
Julie Fowler
Julie Fowler
  • Omaha, NE
  • Licensed in Nebraska

A: She needs to defend against the action that she was served with and speak with an attorney now. She likely need to file a response with the Court now and take other actions to respond to the lawsuit or she may unintentionally waive some of her rights. If the creditor is persuing the home and you are also on the title, then you may also have standing in the case to object as well. If the debt is for an unpaid mortgage, then there may be a true risk of foreclosure. Although in theory, other creditors can pursue the sale of a home to collect a judgment, this process is so timely and expensive that it rarely occurs.

There may be other ways to stop the collection action as well, such as filing for bankruptcy to ask to discharge debts and protect the home.

You need to speak with an attorney now about the specific facts of your case as failing to act can waive your rights.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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Peter J. Weinman
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A: Attorney Fowler is correct and offered good advice (and she's licensed in your state). To directly answer your question, though, from my NY perspective, it's too late now to remove her name from the deed. To do so in contemplation of litigation would be a fraudulent conveyance, and any creditor with half a brain will seek to have the conveyance reversed. Hopefully, she's not being sued for enough to jeopardize the home. Assuming you get through this with the house intact, I would suggest a consultation with a local attorney to discuss better options for titling the house (maybe into a trust) to protect it from anything like this in the future.

1 user found this answer helpful

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