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Michigan - 1 spouse on mortgage is deceased can the bank take the house? Both names on the deed.

Saginaw, MI |

My dad died 8 years ago and my parents' mortgage was in his name only, the deed however has both of their names on it. The mortgage was on a 15 year balloon which will be up in a few months, the mortgage company is saying they can take the home from her (Wells Fargo) the payments are up to date and have never been late in the last 8 years, is there anything she can do? There was a will leaving everything to her if he died first and vice versa if she died first. We have mailed and faxed a copy of the will to their assumable mortgage department and they are stating the will needs to be signed by a judge? I didn't think a judge needed to sign since its not in probate, that was the purpose of having a will?

The advice she received from the attorney who did the will and took care of things after he passed away was that she wouldn't need to notify the mortgage company that he passed away because they couldn't do anything as long as the payments were current. She does have a small second mortgage on the home from a different mortgage company and they have been aware he is deceased for several years and as long as they have been getting their monthly payment (they have) they didn't care if he was dead or not (his name is also the only one on that mortgage). Additional info the home/land is worth double what she owes on it (she owes around $40,000 with both mortgages) and the area is flooded with bank foreclosed homes for sale so they won't get what is owed much less what is it worth in a sale.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Federal law prevents them from acting to foreclose or accelerate this loan, as long as it is current. They can still force her to pay the balloon, however, so that is something she will need to be aware of. She should stand her ground, and if they persist, she may need to have a lawyer send them a strongly worded letter, reminding them of the law.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much, your answer really helped. Her lawyer is working with them now.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

You are very welcome. I am glad I could help!

Posted

If the house was in joint names the Will did not need to be probated. Your Mom owns it free and clear. I am not an expert on mortgage finance, but I am well aware that banks make claims all the time that they can't legally pursue and the regulators let them get away with it. If a few of these folks were thrown in jail, they would be more careful. Your Mom's concern should be the balloon that is coming due. She should be looking into a refinance now. Wells Fargo is telegraphing that they won't be interested in offering another mortgage.

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3 comments

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Joseph Jonathan Brophy

Posted

I should not have used the term free and clear- it might suggest that the mortgage does not attach to the house- it still does. I meant that your Mom is the sole owner and has good title,

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

I knew what you meant, but thought the same thing. ;-)

Asker

Posted

I understood what you meant as well, thanks :-)

Posted

It sounds fairly complex and a consultation with a probate/real estate attorney is certainly in order. I would be happy to discuss it with you.

My answer to you question does not constitute legal advice. Only an in person or telephone consultation will result in an attorney/client relationship. Call me at (313)402-0853 to discuss your matter further.

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Posted

There are lots of questions that need to be asked before any advise is given. Did your mom predecease your dad? Were the married at the time the mortgage was given. Was the will ever probated? Who are the heirs of the survivor? Were there any other names on the deed? Etc., etc., etc.. The mortgage is due at the end of the balloon period and there is always the question of whether the mortgage was valid in the first place. Call a lawyer with experience in these areas of the law.

So there is no misunderstanding, this answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and you cannot presume that I am your lawyer or that my advice can be relied upon in any way other than for information only. You will not become my client unless and until you retain me.

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