Minnesota has a statute that dates back to the 19th century, originally passed to protect a woman from her husband’s mortgaging and losing their home without his wife’s knowledge, that requires both the husband and the wife’s signatures on mortgage loans. Now, during the current “mortgage meltdown,” this law has become “an out” for some home-owners where the lender failed to adhere to this straight-forward rule.
This summer, however, this blog noted a decision against a non-signing spouse in the context of a mortgage loan foreclosure (linked here).
Again, a decision has come down which would seem to suggest that courts might be giving a hard look at claims by non-signing “spouses.” In this denial of Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, the U.S. District Court (D. Minn. (Frank, J.)), it seems the Court gives rejects the Plaintiff’s claim of having been wed to the mortgagor in Somalia, which appears to have been unrebutted (though not conclusively proven beyond all doubt), rejects her claim that she was married to the mortgagor under Iowa common law, and gives no deference to the fact that a Minnesota state court already determined the she was married to the mortgagor (in the context of dissolution proceedings).