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An Iowa Couple Finds A Loophole As Big As Their House

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A couple in Iowa now technically owns their home after only one mortgage payment. Besides incurring the wrath of neighbors, they are also the rationale for a likely change in a century-old law that helped them by means of a large loophole. AOL has the full story, but the short version is that since both spouses didn't sign the mortgage papers (per the state's requirements) the agreement is declared null and void and the couple no longer have to pay back the bank (note: they were in the foreclosure process when all this was discovered). Why are we telling you about Iowa? Because we want to know if this is going on around here.

The AOL piece references a real estate law site that discusses Virginia and Maryland, but we haven't found anything pertaining to the District. Any lawyers or agents out there who know what the law is?

Here are the 'homestead exemptions' as per the website www.lawchek.com.

Maryland:
The exemption does not apply against taxes and debts for purchase or improvement of the homestead. If a husband and wife own a homestead, the law usually requires that both of them sign a conveyance or mortgage regarding the real estate for it to be applicable or enforceable against both spouses. Maryland Courts Arts. §11-504. Virginia:
For Virginia, the homestead exemption is limited to $5,000 in value. The exemption does not apply against taxes and debts for purchase or improvement of the homestead. If a husband and wife own a homestead, the law usually requires that both of them sign a conveyance or mortgage regarding the real estate for it to be applicable or enforceable against both spouses. For Virginia, a designation or plat of a homestead may be filed. Virginia Code §34-4 onward. · Couple Owns Home After One Mortgage Payment [AOL]
· Real Estate Questions And Answers [lawchek.com]