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Cullari v. Valore

A-3377-02T3 (N.J. Super. App. Div. 2004) (Unpublished)

PERSONAL PROPERTY; SPOUSES—Spouses cannot hold personal property as tenants by the entireties; therefore when a judgment is only against one spouse, it is appropriate to execute the judgment on the property if the non-debtor spouse has notice and an opportunity to bid at the sale.

To collect a judgment against an individual, a levy was placed on several personal property items located in his and his wife’s home and the matter proceeded to a sheriff’s sale. The man claimed that since the judgment was only against him, his wife’s interest in the property was being disregarded by allowing the sale. Personal property may not be held as a tenancy by the entireties. Spouses hold personal property as tenants in common. Therefore, the lower court held that the sale could take place because the man’s wife had the right to bid at the sale. The Appellate Division affirmed this decision and held that the lower court had the ability to order the property sold and the proceeds divided. A tenant in common has an undivided interest in the whole. The distinct title of each tenant in common is subject to the co-extensive possessory right to the whole of every other co-tenant. The wife’s possessory right to the whole of the property was protected by her having notice of the sale and being allowed to bid on the items.

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