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

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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