' T his question frequently arises in the context of consulting with married couples who own jointly held real estate and a creditor has obtained a civil money judgment against only one of them. The most typical example is when either the husband or wife personally guarantees a business debt, the business ultimately fails or the husband or wife defaults on the loan, and the creditor files suit and recovers a judgment on the personal guaranty. Under New Jersey law can the judgment creditor of one spouse compel a court to order the sale of their jointly held marital residence? The short answer is "no," provided that the non-debtor spouse survives the debtor spouse. When the debtor spouse passes away, the creditor's judgment goes to the grave with him/her and the surviving spouse holds the marital residence free and clear of the judgment. However, during the lifetime of the debtor spouse the judgment creditor is still permitted to levy and execute agai
There are significant legal distinctions between owning property as tenants by the entirety versus owning property as tenants in common. Understanding these legal distinctions is important when it comes to purchasing residential real estate with friends, business partners, or relatives. A joint tenancy is a form of property ownership where the co-owners own the property equally. If one joint tenant dies, the surviving joint tenant automatically inherits the entire property. By contrast, a tenancy in common is a form of co-ownership of property that does not include a right of survivorship. In a tenancy in common, each co-owner's portion can be passed to beneficiaries named in a will, which may or may not be someone who the surviving co-tenant ever envisioned owning the property with or living with. In New Jersey, two people, other than married couples, are presumed to own property as tenants in common unless they've otherwise specified in the deed.