Q: My fiancee has her name on three separate mortgages for two different commercial buildings with her ex-husband. According to the divorce decree, her ex-husband has until August of 2009 to refinance the mortgages.

He wants to do an assumption which will not take away her liability. He had her sign something last weekend, which in theory says the lenders have agreed to take away her liability from one of the properties.

I don’t trust her ex-husband and I have no idea what she has signed. Can you shed some light on what she may have signed? Thank you.

A: I have no idea what your fiancee signed. But I hope she read the document thoroughly and had her attorney look at it first. But, I’m guessing that neither of those things happened, which is why she can’t explain to you what her liability is or will be.

You didn’t ask this question, but I’ll throw out another little piece of advice: You should really make sure you understand everything there is to know about your fiancee’s finances and her responsibilities and liabilities on these (and perhaps other) properties. It sounds like she has a financial liability when it comes to these properties, but may not have an ownership interest in them.

If she was careless enough to sign a quit claim deed, giving her ownership rights to her ex-spouse without him securing new financing that would relieve her of any liability, that would be a big red flag: she may either not fully understand what this means or doesn’t care enough to secure her own financial future.

If I were you, I’d want to make sure I understand what her financial obligations are and what she owns and what problems could arise in the future resulting from these obligations.

Nov. 25, 2008.