Wife Signs Note, Both Husband and Wife Sign Mortgage; Mortgage Valid

In Pierce v Partners for Payment Relief DE III, LLC, an unpublished Michigan Court of Appeals opinion, the wife only signed the promissory note, but both husband and wife signed a mortgage on their property.  The mortgage had stamped under husband’s signature the phrase “For the purpose of subordinating all rights and interest including dower/homestead rights.”  The wife died and no estate was opened.  The husband subsequently died; his estate was opened and the personal representative quit claimed the property to their son.  The mortgagee subsequently started foreclosure proceedings.  The son filed suit seeking to stop the foreclosure and invalidate the mortgage, on the basis that the property was held as tenants by the entirety and, since husband never signed the promissory note, the debt and mortgage were extinguished upon the wifes death.  The trial court agreed.

On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed.  Because husband signed the mortgage subordinating all rights and interest in the property jointly with his wife, the property was properly security for the wifes debt even though the husband was not liable for the debt.

© Steve Sowell 2017