Can one couple issue a promissory note without the knowledge of the other? 8 Answers as of August 31, 2015

Can a commercial guarantee, promissory note for a business that was signed by one spouse without the knowledge of the other spouse be enforced? The couple hold the property as joint tenants in California.

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GARCIA & GONZALES, P.C. | Richard N. Gonzales
That would be a no.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 8/31/2015
If you are talking about a lien given on property by a joint owner?without the assent of the other then the answer is yes.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 4/13/2015
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC
The Law Office of Darren Aronow, PC | Darren Aronow
Generally in NY you can not encumber the other persons half of the property or business.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/13/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
There are a couple different legal issues here. The first is whether the person who signed the note has the authority to make contracts for the business. If they have the authority then the business is liable for the debt and it can be enforced against all of the business's assets. The second is whether the debt is a community debt or a separate debt. Since California is a community property state, community debts can be enforced against both spouses, separate debts can only be enforced against the signing spouse. (Community property is the best thing ever for enriching lawyers) Since it's a joint tenancy, if one spouse is liable on the note and the other isn't, the creditor can take 1/2 the property. Obviously, it's difficult to take 1/2 of a company (or 1/2 of a house) but no problem to take 1/2 of a 200 acre tract of farmland.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/13/2015
Deborah F Bowinski, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Debby Bowinski
Unfortunately, your question is not very clear. Did one of the spouses give a security interest in property to a lender as part of the guaranty? What does the jointly owned property have to do with the commercial guarantee or the promissory note for a business? There are many missing facts that are necessary in order to try to answer your questions.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/10/2015
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    The judgment on the guarantee will be against the signing spouse. The judgement lien will attach to the real property. California is a community property state. His debts are your debts and vise verses. Community assets are available to pay community debts. The only way around this is might be that the signing spouse committed fraud on you.... but that will only be between you and the other spouse. The creditor will not affected by the fraud claim.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter
    Law Offices of Daniel J Winter | Daniel J Winter
    This is not a question that can be answered online. You need to consult with a lawyer and bring all of your information to the appointment.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/10/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    This part of the site relates strictly to Wisconsin matters. You'd be well advised to consult a California lawyer, since the question is very likely controlled by the law of that State. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/10/2015
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