What happens to a co-signer of a mortgage if the other co-signer defaults in makingtheir payments?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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What happens to a co-signer of a mortgage if the other co-signer defaults in makingtheir payments?

My wife and I have separated (she’s in OH and I’m in UT). We will be divorcing once she establishes residency. She wants to build a home and has asked me to co-sign. I get bad feelings about this and need legal advice as to what could happen if I do sign and she ends up defaulting, etc, especially if we haven’t divorced yet.

Asked on August 25, 2011 Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Big red flag.  Good thing that you saw it.  You two have just decided to part and now you want to sign a document that may tie you to her once again?  If you co-sign and she defaults they will come after you.  Plain and simple.  The reason that she probably needs you to co-sign at this point in time is because you are legally married and some times builders and banks do not want to take the chance that they will be left on the hook without the two married people on the hook. Or else she can not afford the build on her own and that should tell you something.  I think that you should respectfully decline to sign.  Good luck. 

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