Is a Deed of Trust for a Home Equity Line of Credit valid when only 1 spouse signed without the other knowing?

Asked over 3 years ago - Bothell, WA

My parents own a house in WA. The Warranty Deed lists both husband & wife as owners. A few years ago, my dad signed a Deed of Trust in his name only on the house without my mom's knowledge. He then withdrew the maximum limit. Afterward the lender must have discovered the error, and sent a revised Deed of Trust asking for both signatures. However my dad ignored it, so neither signed the new agreement. Recently my mom finally discovered this loan and have filed a divorce. My dad will file a quit claim deed on the house and then a Chapter 7 against additional unsecured credit card loans.

The lender should NOT have been issued the line of credit on a joint community property with signature of only a single spouse. What's the best way to void this Deed of Trust?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Richard Ronald Bernstein

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . IF the facts are as you described, the deed of trust is invalid, because your father did not have the right to transfer an interest in the property without your mother's consent. I would suggest that you father speak with a lawyer before taking any steps. If, in fact, he intends to file a petition in bankruptcy, a good bankruptcy lawyer would be the person for him to see. Your mother should keep track of what happens and make sure that she gets appropriate notice of all proceedings so that she can protect her own interests in the property.

  2. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Its validity should be challenged in the Chapter 7 by listing debt as unsecured and his alone. Bank and he will have to litigate validity of deed.

    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. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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