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What happens when i inherit a house with a mortgage still owed on it?

Sacramento, CA |

does the bank require me to pass their credit/income requirements?
can they force me to sell or take the house.
it has a positive cash flow and covers the mortgage right now with a tenant.
does the bank even have to know it has passed to me?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. Best answer

    You need to look at the note to see the terms. Passing title to you may trigger the due on transfer provisions in the note. Generally, if the payments are being made and kept current, the bank will not find out or care. That said, I would not rely on that. You should have the note reviewed and make a careful, fully informed decision on how to proceed.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.


  2. They don't care who has title as long as they get paid. Just continue to make the payments. They can't take it or force you to sell unless the loan goes into default status.

    If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Stephen Pearcy is licensed to practice law in California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is for legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.


  3. The other attorneys are correct from a practical standpoint. If you wanted to, for instance, refi you would have to qualify. The bank may in fact find out if a new deed is recorded referencing a mortgaged property.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/


  4. The lender has a right to know who has rightfull deed to the property. You should see an attorney for this.


  5. I agree with my colleagues that you should be okay on this. Under Federal law, the bank cannot foreclose or accelerate the debt as long as payments are current, but this can depend on your relationship to the deceased. An attorney would be a good idea.

    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!


  6. If you inherited the house from a parent, there are many lenders who will allow you to assume the loan under the current terms without a credit check, just because you are the child-heir. Not all of them, by any means, but they're out there. I'd be cautious about just letting it go for too long because the mortgage contract with the deceased person likely DOES have a clause saying the loan can be called immediately upon a transfer of the property. Also, if there are any problems or questions later, you won't have the authority to ask questions about the account because you aren't the account holder.

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