The law's original intent was to protect husbands and wives from liability if one spouse made a disastrous financial decision unbeknownst to the other or against her or his wishes.
The Iowa law invoked by Wanek in the Danielson case dates to 1888, and has its roots in a law passed in 1851. It was intended to stop one spouse from ripping off the other. It invalidates sales of — or loans on — a home, unless both spouses sign. The idea is to prevent one spouse from refinancing a mortgage and taking off with the cash.
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