Co-signer takes fall in friend's foreclosure

REThink Real Estate

Q: Am I responsible for homeowners association (HOA) dues on a foreclosed home even if I didn’t sign the HOA agreement? I am on the title and mortgage. I co-owned a home with a friend and it was her responsibility to pay the mortgage and HOA dues because she was the one living there.

Unfortunately the home foreclosed and now the HOA is threatening to sue both her and me for past dues. Am I responsible even though she was the only one who signed the agreement?

A: In the olden days, we used to call what you did "co-signing" for a loan. These days, most lenders use the term "co-borrowing," probably to make crystal clear to the co-signer/co-borrower what he or she is really doing: borrowing, to the same extent as the other borrower — in your case, your friend who actually occupied the home.