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I am on the deed to our house but not the mortgage. If my husband dies am I responsible for the mortgage?

Baltimore, MD |

Our wills are not current and he is refusing to have another one prepared. Our house is not worth the purchase price and i am afraid I won't be able to cover the mortgage. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If you did not sign the promissory note then you are not obligated to pay it. If you did not sign the deed of trust and were an owner of the property when the deed of trust was signed and recorded the deed of trust may be not be a lien against the property depending on how you and your husband hold title. However, if you were an owner of the property and signed the deed of trust and want to keep the house then you need to pay the promissory note. A bit of catch-22. I am not sure what your husbands will has to do with this but maybe with more information I would understand.

    This response is intended only as general information and is not intended as nor does it serve as legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been established between the poster and the responding attorney. The poster is advised to retain counsel of their own choosing before undertaking or not undertaking any actions.


  2. If you did not sign the loan papers or promissory note, then you are not personally responsible on the debt; however, the mortgage debt is secured by the house, so if no one pays the mortgage, then the mortgage holder can foreclose on the property and sell the home at auction. In that event, you will receive notice of the action by mail. The proceeds from the sale will be applied to the mortgage balance and costs of sale. If the sale proceeds are not sufficient to pay off the mortgage, and a deficiency remains, then the mortgage company can make a claim against the estate of your deceased husband, assuming that he owned any property solely in his name when he died. Maryland has passed some new laws on foreclosures, and there may be assistance available at no or reduced charge through the Pro Bono Resources Center of Maryland, 520 West Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, phone 410.837.9379. For homeowners 60+ years of age, you may contact Legal Aid Senior Hotline 1 (800) 896-4213. Seniors are encouraged to call this number for legal assistance with respect to a mortgage or for information about filing bankruptcy.

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