If my late in-laws had a reverse mortgage on their house, can my wife be sued for the equity of the house if she can’t purchase it?

The mortgage company is suing her without any notice letter and some other company is sueing my

dead father-in-law. Is this legal? My wife is stressing out over this.

Asked on July 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, your wife is NOT personally liable for her parents' reverse mortgage unless she cosigned for it or guaranteed it. (That is, unless in one may or another, she voluntarily obligated herself to pay it.) 
However, if she (presumably) is or will inherit the house, then she may be named in a lawsuit for foreclosure: when a reverse mortgage is not paid, the lender may foreclose on the property, since the property secures payments. When they do this, under law, they MUST name anyone they are aware of who does or may have an interest in the house, so those people have the chance to either pay the mortgage or try to fight the foreclosure in court. In this case, those people are named so they have the chance to protect their rights, but are not personally liable unless, again, they guaranteed, co-signed, etc. the mortgage. The lender can get the house and possible other amounts (other money) from the estate, but cannot hold them personally liable.

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