Can I walk way from a mortage that only has my dead husband’s name on it?

He died and only his name is on the mortgage. Can I walk away from it or am I responsible?

Asked on January 11, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Maine


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

A mortgage is a contrat and, just like another contract, is only enforceable against the parties who agree to be bound by its terms. Accordingly, since your name is not on it, you can walk away from the house without any reprucussions regarding the lender.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If his name only, not yours, was on the mortgage, you are not responsible to pay it: a mortgage is a contract, and only those who agree to the contract (whose names are on it) are obligated or liable under it. The house will be foreclosed upon if you walk away from the mortgage, but so long as you are comfortable with that, you can do this.

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