VA loans

VA Loan Reader Questions: Community Property Laws

April 17, 2014

VA Loan Reader Questions: Community Property Laws

096-logoA reader asks, “I live Nevada and separated from my husband who lives in Florida. I’m try to purchase a house with my VA, but the mortgage company said because Nevada is a community state that they had include my husband’s income? Why?”

We can’t comment on what specific laws, rules, or regulations might be in effect for this particular situation, but in general, state community property laws require the spouses to share any financial commitment made within the context of being legally married. Since we aren’t legal experts, it’s difficult to comment further than that. That said…

Community property laws seem to recognize only the legal standing of a married couple–not whether that couple are separated, trying to work out a divorce agreement, etc. Depending on the specific language of the community property laws of any given state, you may learn that only a change in legal status will affect your VA loan application in that state.

It all hinges on the specific wording of the laws of your state.

Community property laws are tricky for those not used to the law and the complexities of such legal issues. Borrowers should know what their state laws are and how they might affect a VA loan application-especially in cases where the standing of the marriage may be in question or if it is due to end in a legal sense soon.

Discuss your needs with a VA rep and your lender to learn what options might be open to you in your state. VA loan rules can’t and won’t override state law, so in cases where there may be a conflict, know that VA regulations supplement local, state, or federal law but can never be recognized above and beyond those laws.

Do you have questions about VA home loans? Ask us in the comments section.

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