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I'm on my brothers checking account as a signer only. Can the bank take his money for my debt from a bad 2nd or 1st mortgage?

Tamarac, FL |

My home is in Florida and has been for sale for 3 years. I am just entering default on both the 1st & 2nd, both attained at purchase in 2004. 2nd only has been refinanced from 32k to 50k for updates to the home in 2005. I moved to California last year for a job opportunity and now the home is no longer my primary residence. I lost my home owners exemption, my taxes quadrupled and the 5 year arm adjusts in October. My brother lives in California, were I lived 15 years ago. We have an old checking account he uses still, I am on as a signer only. I keep hearing that the mortgage company, both 1st & 2nd will be able to go into any account my name is on and take any money in them. How can I protect my brother and what little I have left in my own accounts. What else can the bank just take?

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Filed under: Debt
Attorney answers 2


It is quite possible that your brother's money would be at risk under the circumstances that you describe. There really is no such thing as being a "signer only" on a bank account. If you can sign a check withdrawing all of the money from that account then you legally are a co-owner of the funds in that account. You should definitely consult an attorney for advice on the specific issues you face.


If the only connection is the checking account. Perhaps the solution is to close that account. You should consult an attorney to verify under your specific circumstances if this will resolve your brother's liability.

David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
331 East Monroe Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel (904) 685-1200 Fax (904) 212-0678