Will My Foreclosure Hurt My Spouse’s Credit After We Marry?

foreclosure sign

The time leading up to your wedding day can be filled with excitement, romance, and hopefully an overwhelming feeling of happiness knowing that you will be marrying the person you love. On the other side of the coin, sometimes there are a few ‘hiccups’ along the path to marriage that may put a slight damper on your excitement. Unfortunately, money can often be a major stressor for engaged couples and newlyweds alike.

These days, living with your intended is a much more common and accepted practice than it was several decades ago. Many people are of the opinion that living together before marriage is actually a wise decision, as it ensures that you are fully compatible with your mate before taking vows that last a lifetime.

Moving in together before marriage typically means that one person will give up a previous residence. Rental homes or apartments would not present much of a problem as long as the lease was up at a convenient time. However, let’s assume that both partners owned their own homes prior to getting engaged.

In this scenario, moving in together may prove slightly more difficult IF the moving partner is unable to sell his or her existing home before move-in day. Having attempted to sell the home, potentially by listing with several different real estate agents, what will happen if the home simply doesn’t sell and payments on the existing mortgage are ceased?

When the couple in this sequence of events moves in together, the abandoned home will go into foreclosure if no further payments are made on the mortgage loan. It is important to note that the foreclosure process usually takes quite a long time from beginning to end. It could realistically take years before all of the foreclosure proceedings are complete, and by that time, the engaged couple would be married.

The partner in foreclosure typically then begs the question: Would my own personal foreclosure that began before my wedding affect my spouse’s credit once we are married?

Naturally, this is a question that both spouses would like to have answered. One spouse with a foreclosure on his credit report is one thing, but to have two tanking credit scores could be disastrous for your future life together. Two low credit scores (albeit hopefully only temporarily) would mean difficulty getting new credit cards, car loans, life insurance, etc., which could greatly increase the stress already felt in the first few months and years of a marriage.

Luckily, this particular situation would not affect the other spouse’s credit score, even if the foreclosure dragged on well into the length of the marriage. The only credit report and score that will show evidence of the foreclosure will be that of the original owner of the home that foreclosed.

So – although you can rest assured if this particular situation lines up with your life – it’s always a good idea to attempt to work with your lender before your home goes into foreclosure. Negotiating a deed in lieu of foreclosure or consent judgement with waiver of any deficiency will look better on your credit report than having a defaulted mortgage and foreclosure. A foreclosure attorney near you can advise you regarding your best options.


Image credit: David S

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