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Am I still responsible for the mortgage & property tax of the house we own together even if I don't live in the house anymore?

San Francisco, CA |
Filed under: Divorce

My ex-husband and still own a house together. I moved out a year and a half ago and he's still living in the house. Am still responsible for all the expenses, mainly the mortgage and the property tax, even though I haven't lived in the house for the last year and a half?

Attorney Answers 3


If you signed on the loan you are responsible for the mortgage. If you are on title you are responsible for the property taxes.
Your ex may be required to reimburse you, but that's something you will need to work out with him, or through your family law attorney.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Dennis Brager is a Tax Attorney licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law and Federal Tax Law unless stated otherwise. Any federal tax advice contained in this communication is not intended, nor written to be used, and may not be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

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This question should be posed to your divorce attorney. Hopefully, you addressed this issue in your divorce decree or settlement. However, if you signed on the loan for the house you would still legally be responsible for the mortgage. You are not personally liable for the property taxes, they run with the land. So if you don't pay them the county will place a lien on your house for the taxes and most likely foreclose if they are not paid within 5 years.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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If your name is on the loan, then you are responsible and your credit can be damaged if the bill is not paid. If you are not on the loan, then its not your problem.

THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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