Ah, the married life of a GLBT Couple. It’s filled with catch-22 after catch-22. Today’s conundrum: Given that the “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) forbids federal recognition of gay and lesbian partnerships, but you have to complete a form from a federal agency (Freddie Mac), how do you describe yourself when applying for a mortgage? Are you Married? Separated? Unmarried?
It seems to me that the relevant language can be found at the very top of the loan application, and it reads as follows:
Co-BorrowerÂ information must also be provided (and the appropriate box checked) when (___) the income or assets of a person other than the Borrower (including the Borrower’s spouse) will be used as a basis for loanÂ qualification or (___) the income or assets of the Borrower’s spouse or other person who has community property rights pursuant to state law will not be used as a basis for loan qualification, but his or herÂ liabilities must be considered because the spouse or other person has community property rights pursuant to applicable law and Borrower resides in a community property state, the security property isÂ located in a community property state, or the Borrower is relying on other property located in a community property state as a basis for repayment of the loan.
So even though you are completing a federal form that isn’t allowed to recognize your marriage, your liability and obligation will be determined based upon state law. California, the state in which I reside and practice real estate, is also a community property rights state. So regardless of what the hate-mongering and bone-headed DOMA legislation says, for the purposes of a residential mortgage loan you will be treated as a married couple.
It seems to me that this just one more ridiculous example of why DOMA needs to be struck down, but it also seems pretty clear to me that the determinant for your marriage status is state law, not federal law.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney or mortgage broker. I am not licensed to provided legal advice. You should never, ever, ever only rely on something you read on the internet when it comes to making important decisions. In other words, this is not legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney, mortgage broker, or other legal professional if you have specific questions or concerns about your family situation and how it should be described on the Uniform Residential Loan Application.