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My reverse mortgage is going to enforce a due on sale clause because my husband passed away. What's my best option?

Colton, OR |

Can't re-fie. Should I file bankruptcy, deed in Lieu or just let them foreclose.

Attorney Answers 3


Bankruptcy is not likely to do anything more than delay the foreclosure. A deed in lieu could be an attractive option, depending on what the lender is willing to pay you. The down side is that you would likely need to open an estate and incur those expenses, before the bank will negotiate with you at all. A foreclosure might allow you to remain at the property indefinitely, if the lender is slow to act. But eventually, you will need to leave and move elsewhere. If you have significant equity in the home, if you like it there and do not want to move, or if it would be more expensive for you to live elsewhere, then you might want to investigate options for remaining in the home and negotiating down the mortgage, etc. A knowledgeable real estate lawyer might be able to help you sort through your options.

James Frederick

*** 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.

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There is no question that your best option is to get QUALITY professional advice, probably from a lawyer with experience in reverse mortgages. You may [or may not] have defenses against calling the reverse mortgage. Whether or not bankruptcy, deed in lieu, short sale (if applicable( or fighting the due on sale acceleration can only be determined by analyzing your circumstances in light of the loan documents and applicable law. For instance a deed in lieu or foreclosure could be your best bet if you get to live in the home for free for a substantial term and then can walk away from the home w/o recourse, but might be a bad option if it would leave you liable to a large deficiency judgment. See an attorney ASAP to preserve your rights.

Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (L.L.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax and for timely updates. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

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You should absolutely seek counsel with an attorney skilled in Forclosures and prefereably some Estate planning. This is a very techincal and involved area of the law.

This posting does not create an attorney client relationship ,and is for informational purposes only. Any formal representation and advice will require establishment of a contractual relationship with an attorney. For more information go to

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