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My mom passed away. She left me a house, loan in her name. Can't afford the mortgage, can't sell, what to do?

I live in AZ. Until recently I was making the payments online. Now I am 2 mortgage payments behind. Unfortunately I can't communicate with the lender about the terms of the loan because I'm not on the account, only my mother was. The lender somehow got my cell phone # and they've been calling me 8+ times a day. I'm worried that if I answer their call that they'll ask about Mom and I would have to tell them she passed away (maybe they already know?). In that case, wouldn't they make me refinance the loan under my name? That's something I definitely am not qualified for right now.

What's worse is that I invested a lot of time and money to license this house as an Assisted Living Home, and I would hate to lose my business as well. If I were able to have residents move in immediately I would be able to pay the mortgage, but so far I am not having any luck. Can somebody please give me helpful advice? Should I stop ignoring the lender's calls? If so, what should I say?

Update:

donald e: I can't sell because nobody is buying. Plus the amount of the loan is higher than what the house (not including the business) is worth in this market. Also, there is a large prepayment penalty. If I sold I would still be upside down a large chunk of money. This does not include the fact that I invested thousands to get the house up to code for the Assisted Living Business.

heyteach: I inherited the house because before my mother died she signed a quick claim deed to give me ownership. That has already been recorded with the County Recorder's Office. However, I have not taken Mom's death certificate over there which is required to have the title put in my name. Right now I only officially own the house if I litteraly have my mother's death certificate in hand.

Mom had no other assets nor life insurance.

House was licensed with Mom as property owner.

I do not have my own place.

I did have one investor want to buy the house, but he flaked out for unknown reasons.

Update 2:

I have absolutely no money for a real estate attorney. I'm really in a tight squeeze right now.

I just want more than anything to keep living in this house and get this business off the ground. To my understanding, I could easily sit back, do nothing, and allow the house to be foreclosed upon, not hurting my credit because the loan is in Mom's name. But I WANT to keep the house! Right now it's all I have.

I tried to get a small business loan a few times, but I was denied everytime.

I want to apply for a government grant for the business, but there is definitely not enough time for that to save me even if they did grant me something.

capricorn122268: I'm not ignoring the problem thinking it will just go away. I'm asking questions here because I do care. Yes, I did have power of attorney for my mom, but now that she is gone, so is my power of attorney. At least that is what I understand.

By law, don't I have to be late on 3 payments for the lender to start foreclosure???

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your mother.

    You can't continue to duck the calls--they can put it in foreclosure.

    You say you inherited the house--how? Was it because of the way it was titled (joint tenancy, right of survivorship or what?) or was it via a will? If a will, was it probated? Doesn't sound like it could be or the lender would know your mother is dead.

    Did she have no other assets? No life insurance or such to pay her debts?

    I am unclear how you were able to license the house if it was not in your name--so was it just the mortgage that was in your mother's name? I think you are going to have no choice but to speak with a real estate attorney. You can use the county bar referral for about $50 you get 30 minutes with an appropriate attorney if you're in Maricopa County. Get ALL your paperwork in order and write out a basic statement because 30 minutes will NOT be enough time to sort this out and you don't have a second to waste. You will get an idea of what your rights and obligations are and if the attorney you speak with is the one to hire.

    Do you have your own place? You may want to consider selling or renting it out (yes I know the market is depressed) and moving into the home as it's license for care and seeing if you can by not having other living expenses catch up the mortgage and get some clients. You may be able to sell the home as the "business" of assisted living--especially to an investor.

    You want to get ahold of the "loss mitigation department" of the mortgage company and see how they will work with you--could end up with a short sale. You can explain that you were sufficiently upset over your mother's death that you just didn't take calls. What can you do NOW to make this all right.

    If your home is licensed, do you have qualified staff yet or not? You may be able to get a partner--provide you with ready made staff and some funds and you make a go of the business. You have options, but ignoring the business that OWNS the home for all practical purposes (that lien trumps everything) is not an option.

    Good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    60 days late is standard for a mortgage lender to start foreclosure process. If you have good credit, you may be able to qualify for 100% financing and ask the lender for a short payoff. You would ask the lender to take less than what is owed since the home does not hold the value. It would be better for them to take what the home is worth rather than it go to auction and they would make even less. Hope this gives you a possible option.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Ignoring the problem is not going to make it go away. Do you have power of attorney for your mom? If so you have legal right to her account information if you provide the mortgage company with the documentation. If you continue not to make payments they will foreclose and it will not matter if your mom has died. I would talk to a lawyer and find out what your options are.

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  • Meghan
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    For starters, answer the mortgage companies phone calls. If they can call you, they can talk to you. You may need to sell it, or she may have had insurance on the mortgage to cover her death. If not, they may be willing to work with you. You never know until you try.

    See if you can get a small business loan for the assisted living facility. If not, you may HAVE to sell. They can foreclose, but they shouldnt be able to come after you since your name wasn't on the mortgage- but they can go after the estate. Any money in her bank accounts or whatever can be sought after.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    why cant you sell, if mom is gone she must have left a will, if not and she passed intestate(no will) you need to consult an attorney and go through probate, then depending upon what she did or didnt do someone will get the house, and that person would be able to sell, why the drag time, you need to speak with an attorney before the bank starts foreclosure.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The mortgage is not automatically paid off. House is an asset of your mother's estate and mortgage is a liability of the estate. Beyond that, I don't really know what to tell you. I think they probably would make you refinance in your name.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Dont ignore them at all. Be very up front and honest with them, and you might be able to work something out with them. Lenders do not like to let houses go into foreclosures. Good Luck and sorry to hear about your mom.

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  • tone
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    you must immediately communicate that mother passed away. do not speak to them til after lawyer is retained. then ask they speak with attorney. someone must be handling her estate. you must get to a lawyer immediately. life insurance? does lender know this is commercial and not residential....you must, i repeat get excellent probate/estate/land attorney now, or you will lose everything.

    You must seek legal counsel now. this is not somethig that can wait....

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think you should answer them. The worst thing would be to find yourself in a lot of debt that you don't know about because you won't talk to them. You should just be honest with them. It could be a very bad situation if you start lying to them. And they will definitely find out that your mother died, so don't try to lie about that to them.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Stop hiding from them and tell them the truth, you only making matters worse!!!! Worst of it is you could lose everything. Be honest with them and see what you can work out.

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