Do you have to continue paying the mortgage if a parent passes away? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Do you have to continue paying the mortgage if a parent passes away?

My dad died without a will. He was paying mortgage. Do I continue payments?

Answer By Martin Barnes
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
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When someone dies without a will, it is referred to as dying "intestate". This really means that in the absence of a will to determine how certain assets will pass, certain state laws (the intestacy laws) become the basis for determining how property will be distributed. In some cases, the manner in which property is titled will determine how the property is to be passed. Since, at the time of his passing, your dad passed away owning property that was mortgaged, it will be important to understand both the rights of those relatives with a beneficial interest in the property as well as the rights of the person or organization that holds a mortgage interest in the property. I encourage the family to engage an attorney to assist in understanding their obligations and their rights.

Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/11/2011

Answer By Brian Haggerty
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
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If the payments don't get made, the lender will foreclose. There are many questions embedded in this one; you probably should start to administer your father's estate; however, there may only be liability, and no benefit to doing it. If there's a house, then potentially there's a lot of money on the table.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/8/2011

Ashman Law Office
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Maybe, maybe not depending on facts you need to discuss with a lawyer (and yes, get one ASAP).

Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/8/2011

THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.
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Unless you signed the mortgage note, you are not liable. If you believe that the value of the property exceeds the mortgage and you are the sole heir that will inherit the property, you may want to work with the mortgage company to delay the foreclosure action that will ensue if payments are not made. If you have siblings that would also inherit the property, you will want to have a written agreement with the others as to being repaid for any funds you put up to forestall the mortgage foreclosure. Otherwise, the mortgage will likely be pushed into foreclosure when the payments fall 90 days overdue.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2011

Answer By Laurie E. Ohall
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
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If you want to be able to take title to the real property he was paying the mortgage on, then you should continue paying the mortgage. Otherwise, the property will go into foreclosure. However, if the property is "upside-down" and you do not want it, then you do not have to pay the mortgage. The mortgage company would have a claim against your father's estate, not you, individually.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/8/2011

Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
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Your dad's estate owes the balance on the mortgage. If the mortgage payments are not paid, the mortgagee will start foreclosure. You can feel free to talk to the bank/mortgage company to discuss what you, the family, choose to do. If your parent's estate is sufficiently large to justify probate, I suggest that you start that process and have a Personal Representative (Executor) appointed. This person will deal with maintaining the estate assets.

Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/8/2011

The Schreiber Law Firm
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The legal obligations secured with liens against property of the deceased to do not end due to death. If the loan is not current, the lender can foreclose. There is also the issue of whether the lender can call the loan due as the borrower is now deceased if there is no right to assume the mortgage loan.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/8/2011

Answer By Dean D. Stein
Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
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Unless you signed onthe mortgage, you don't have personal liability for the debt. Of course, if you or someone else does not pay the mortgage, then the mortgage company will forclose, and probate does not stay forclosure. The question you need to answer is "is it worth it to save the house to you or someone else?". If the house was left by the will to someone else without the will providing that theestate would extinguish the mortgage, then they get the house subject to the mortgage. If more than one person was leftthe house, or if for some reason the house remains part of the estate, you can determine if the house has enough equity for asale and division to be justified.

Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 11/8/2011

Coulter's Law
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The estate continues to pay the loan or posts it off.

Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 11/8/2011

Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
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You have no legal obligation to make payments on your dad's mortgage. If you don't the bank will foreclose on the house. If the house is worth more than the mortgage (or if you are living there and the mortgage payment is less than rent you would pay for an equivalent rental), make the payments. If not, don't.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/8/2011

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