Can a letter needed for a lender regarding mine and my estranged husband’s finances be used against me later if we decide to divorce?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a letter needed for a lender regarding mine and my estranged husband’s finances be used against me later if we decide to divorce?

My husband and I have been separated for over 2 years now. He is in the process of buying a new

home. The bank that he is trying to secure the loan with wants a signed notarized statement from me stating that no formal separation agreement or decree in place at this time. Also, that we are responsible for our own debts and that nothing is owed to the other and there is no spousal maintenance obligation to each other. Further, no children or no child support obligation is involved if there are children. While this is all true at this time, I don’t want my husband to be able to use this against me if Im trying to collect alimony from him in the event of a divorce. I’d like to be able to assist him because we are on good terms and he has not stopped taking care of me since we have been separated but I don’t want this to hurt me later. How can I word it that he will not be able to use it against me?

Asked on May 7, 2018 under Family Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to word it so that it could not potentially be used against you. Any admission or statement you make in this letter would be considered an "adminission by a party-opponent" (that's how my state's rules of evidence would characterize this; your state may use different terminology, but the result will be the same), which means that it is something that can presented in court in any proceeding (e.g. a divorce proceeding) where it is relevant. Thus, you can be held to your admissions and statements in the sense that they can be brought up against you in a divorce proceeding, and any statement about each being responsible for his/her own dets and either owing anything to the other could be presented as evidence that you do not need support and in fact there had been an agreement between the two of you that there would be no support. Moreover, there are even circumstances where the bank could take action against you: e.g. suppose that relatively shortly (months or only a year or two) after he buys the house with financing obtained at least in part due to your letter, that 1) you do start getting support from him and 2) he defaults on his loan. The bank could believe that you and he knew that he'd start paying support to you soon but lied on the letter to get financing, and therefore you helped him defraud the bank. Admittedly, this might not be a likely set of circumstances, but you need to bear in mind that if circumstances change so that it looks like you lied on the letter and helped him obtain financing under false pretenses, the bank could look to take action against you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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