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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42203
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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My husband and I are married, filing separately, for many years.

Resolved Question:

My husband and I are married, filing separately, for many years. In 2004, we closed on a home that I qualified for as the mortgage holder on my own. I hold the title in my name only. If my husband has a tax debt, can the federal government impose a lien on the house?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good afternoon.What state is involved here??It makes a difference??

RayAnswers :

Also I need to know if the IRS debt was pre or post marital?

RayAnswers :

Assuming the house here was purchased after you were married, is that correct?

RayAnswers :

If you give me more information I will be able to respond to you, thanks for your patience.

RayAnswers :

And are you thinking about refinancing here your existing loan?

RayAnswers :

Thanks ..

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The house was purchased after we were married. The debt is for after the house was purchased. (2006 and 2008)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry--is there an answer here? I received an email saying you had responded but I don;t see anything other than your initial questions...
Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the follow up here.This house would be considered marital property so its possible the IRS here could try to lien it.Putting it in one spouse's name does not make it separate property.Your husband would have a marital property interest if it was purchased during marriage unless you could show that it was paid for from separate property such as an inheritance.

The IRS cases here address jointly owned properties here in Florida so it is a legally gray area here with your facts.Since it is in your name its possible they do not try to attach a lien or even locate it.You have done all you can here filing separately and keeping it solely in your name.Time will tell if the IRS tries to lien it or not.

Here is reference including recent cases..


If they try to file one here you would have burden to then dispute it.



The only absolute way to know that they would not assert a lien is to divorce and have it awarded to you as your separate property.And his debt here would be his and only he would then be liable.It is very possible that the IRS would not try to lien the property since its currently in your name, but it is also possible they might try to claim he has a marital interest against which they assert a lien.


I appreciate the chance to assist you today.Thanks for letting me help you.Please let me know if you have more follow up.I wish I could give you better news but there is potential the IRS might try to lien your property.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If there is already a lien- 2 of them- (as discovered by my loan company as they researched the title) do I have any recourse (other than getting divorced?)

There is a total of about $20,000. Could he file bankruptcy to release the lien??

Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.

If they have liens on the property your only remedy here would be to resolve the liens.Divorcing at this point would not protect you if the liens have already been filed.You might be able to challenge them if you can show that the property was purchased with separate funds, n o marital funds wee used here to make payments, taxes, etc.

Otherwise you may want to have him try to resolve the liens.These are often resolved for less than the lien as part of IRS negotiations.You both may want to contact IRS and seek to meet with them if you want to resolve them,.Otherwise you are not going to be able to refinance.I am sorry but the liens prevent that or resale until resolved.

Thanks for the follow up here.I hope you can resolve these.


Tax Resolution Help..

Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.

Here is self help if you want to try and resolve them yourselves.




There are also Florida tax lawyers that specialize in resolution here.

I wish you good luck here.I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this.Consider trying to resolve these liens yourselves or with a professional.
These are often resolved for much less than the lien and there are payment options as well.

Ray and 7 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you