am I responsible for debt from line of credit on house in mom and her husbands name?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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am I responsible for debt from line of credit on house in mom and her husbands name?

in TN. Mom died. No will. Step father wants to buy me and my bother out of house, but wants us to both pay 1/3 of 30K line of credit against house. House was paid for when they married 5 years ago, and it was my mother’s house. house is only in her name

Asked on January 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not personally legal responsible for a debt which you were not a party or a signatory to. However, the line of credit will have to be paid off before the home can be transferred; if not paid, the lender can potentially foreclose on the home. You, your brother, and your stepfather should negotiate something vis-a-vis the amount will seems fair to all of you, bearing in mind that agreeing to pay more than you might ideally like may be a good tradeoff to avoid possible foreclosure, litigation, or just being "at a standstill" about the house and having to pay to carry or support it while not being able to actually do anything with it, because the owners disagree as to what to do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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