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Can I put the house in my name only to keep my wife's creditors from putting a lien on it?

Portland, OR |

My wife cosigned several loans "unknowingly", our son put her name as a cosigner on over $100,000 worth of college loans over a period of 4 years. He graduated and is not making nearly enough to pay the minimum payment. I am unemployed, disabled and my wife is not working enough to help contribute much to these loans. I finally paid off our house last year and it is in both our names. How hard is it to take my wife's name off the title so we don't get a lien put on the house by our son's college loan creditors.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Attorney answers 1


It is not hard to put the home in your name only - a quitclaim deed from your Wife to you would suffice. However, with creditors outstanding you run the risk of having this transaction avoided as a fraudulent transfer. The statue of limitations in Oregon is four years for a fraudulent transfer. In other words, if done within four years of the "quitclaim deed" any creditor of your Wife could bring a lawsuit to set aside that transfer and put the home back in both of your names. Once in both of your names the creditor could attach the home.

There are quite few steps that a creditor must take before attaching the home and based on some of the comments above this might be the right fact pattern to quitclaim the house and take your chances. You should definitely meet with an attorney to discuss it in detail because every course of action you would take to solve this problem involves risk.