Am I Responsible for Mother’s Equity Loan if She Passes?

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“My mother took out a home equity loan 5 years ago. She quit claimed  the deed with joint tenants with rights of survivorship January 2012 to me. Am I responsible, after she dies, for the equity loan?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

There are two parts to a home loan: 1) the promissory note, which is what makes you personally responsible for the debt, and 2) the mortgage or deed of trust (depending on where the property is), which is what secures that debt against the property.

I’m assuming that you didn’t sign or guarantee the promissory note,  so you would not be personally responsible for the loan.  However, the mortgage or deed of trust is just as valid against the property, even though your name is on the title.  So while the lender can’t come after you personally, it can foreclose and take the house.

You should also note, since you’re asking about what happens after your mother dies, that since she is personally responsible, her estate will be, too.  So the lender can go after anything else in the estate (your mother’s other assets).

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.