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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.


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