My mother and father refinanced their home but they both passed away before it was paid off. My name is listed on the deed along with my mother. Am I responsible for the loan because my name is on the deed but not on the loan?

  • 2
    Jurisdiction? Country, possibly state or province?
    – Brythan
    Dec 28, 2017 at 22:58
  • What kind of loan is it? Mortgage/secured against the home? Dec 29, 2017 at 1:36
  • 1
    You are not "responsible" for the loan in the sense that no one can compel you to pay it off completely right away or even assume the loan and pay it off in monthly installments. But, the loan is presumably a mortgage on your parents' home. If so, the mortgage holder can intervene in the probate court proceedings and foreclose on the house if the mortgage is not paid off or assumed by you. Even if your name is on the deed (with your mother) as a joint owners with right of survivorship, you cannot assume sole ownership of the property without dealing with the mortgage first. Dec 29, 2017 at 5:17

1 Answer 1


Heirs do not inherit debts, so no. You (or any other heirs) are not responsible for the mortgage.

However, assets of an estate can be sold to cover the debts of the deceased. In this case, the bank could force the sale of the house in order to pay the outstanding mortgage balance. "Could" becomes the operative word as whether they choose to go after the estate depends on many things. Here only a lawyer in your particular jurisdiction can advise you.

Are you the executor of the estate? Did they have a will?

Sorry for your loss, but you probably need to seek legal assistance.

  • The mortgage company "could" go after the house (that is, force a foreclosure), but it's probably to their advantage to either have you assume the loan, or cooperate in selling it. I think just talking to them first would be better than spending money on a lawyer before you need to.
    – jamesqf
    Dec 29, 2017 at 19:27
  • The first sentence is misleading. If you inherit a house worth $300,000 with a $290,000 mortgage, you only become $10,000 richer. If you are supposed to inherit a house worth $200,000 with a $290,000 mortgage, you can refuse the inheritance, but you can't inherit the house without responsibility for the mortgage.
    – gnasher729
    Dec 29, 2017 at 21:43

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