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There is no law that requires a spouse to be on the deed or on the loan.....that's really an issue that is up to the lender/bank.
That said, with married couples, the bank will require both spouses to sign the deed of trust (at the very least) in order to allow the lender to have the right to foreclose without going to court in the event of a default.....this is so because of a spouse's equitable ownership interest in property even if he/she is not on the deed to the property.
But, the spouse would not be required to sign the documents under the law......that's a call that is left up to the lender.
They're likely talking about "dower" rights.....but that doesn't necessarily require you to sign the note to be obligated to repay the loan or to sign the deed of trust, but you may have to release your "dower" rights so the lender could have the ability to pursue foreclosure in the event of a default. Here's a good article you can read about this: http://www.beacontitle.com/pdfs/dower.pdf