Real Estate Law
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is there any benefit to adding my wife to the title? Under California law will that help to protect the asset from any collection efforts?
If this is an unsecured judgment that will be granted against you and the others for a default on the loan, then adding wife to the deed would not really have any benefit as she would already be liable due to the nature of CA being a community property state. Further, any homestead exemption for your home would already be based on the fact that you are married, but would exempt a max of $175K in equity in the home under CA law. However, it wouldn't apply since you are renting it and it is not your principle place of residence.
So the amount of equity that you have in the home will make it a prime target for creditors as none of the equity in the property will be protected..
I am very sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers based on my knowledge and experience, even when I know the answer doesn’t make the customer happy...
If the debt was incurred while married, then she is equally liable for it, whether you are married or not. So unfortunately transferring the property wouldn't protect it.
I am sorry that the news isn't better..
Yes, that is why JustAnswer asks where the customer is located.. Giving information based on another state's laws wouldn't really be helpful to the customer... CA makes it tough on married debtors because of the community property laws that make all assets and debts acquired during marriage jointly owned with the exception of inheritances and gifts..