Can your home be foreclosed if you owe an outstanding bill?

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2011

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Can your home be foreclosed if you owe an outstanding bill?

My husband and I paid off our mortgage and own our home. My husband has a medical bill which he is disputing. Can our home be foreclosed on if he doesn’t pay this bill?

Asked on June 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your home would not be foreclosed on. A foreclosure takes place when a mortgage goes into default and the mortgage lender sues to takeover the property. Since this is not a mortgage situation (you don't even have one), there is no chance of a foreclosure action. However, a creditor may be able to obtain a judgment against you in court. If they are successful, then all non-exempt assets would be at risk.  However, in some states, a homestead is considered to be exempt from such claims, especially if is jointly held and only one spouse is liable for the debt.

At this point you should consult directly with an attorney in your area as to your rights/remedies in this matter.

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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