Code of the District of Columbia

§ 15–502. Mortgage or other instrument affecting exempt property.

(a) A mortgage, deed of trust, assignment for the benefit of creditors, or bill of sale upon exempted articles is not binding or valid unless it is signed by the spouse or domestic partner of a debtor who is living with his or her spouse or domestic partner. This section shall not apply to instruments related to property exempted in § 15-501(a)(14).

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).


(Dec. 23, 1963, 77 Stat. 530, Pub. L. 88-241, § 1; Oct. 1, 1976, D.C. Law 1-87, § 11, 23 DCR 2544; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 3, 53 DCR 1035; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 131(a), 53 DCR 6794; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-270, § 3(b), 54 DCR 851.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 15-502.

1973 Ed., § 15-502.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 rewrote section, which had read as follows: “A mortgage, deed of trust, assignment for the benefit of creditors, or bill of sale upon exempted articles is not binding or valid unless it is signed by the spouse of a debtor who is married and living with his or her spouse.”

D.C. Law 16-191, in subsec. (a), validated a previously made technical correction.

D.C. Law 16-270, in subsec. (a), inserted “This section shall not apply to instruments related to property exempted in § 15-501(a)(14).”

Editor's Notes

Section 4 of D.C. Law 16-270 provided: “Section 3 shall apply as of April 27, 2001.”