How do I stop foreclosure by reverse mortgage on my dad’s house with no will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How do I stop foreclosure by reverse mortgage on my dad’s house with no will?

My dad recently died without a will and the reverse mortgage company has told
me different things every time I’ve called. First they said I had three months
to either obtain financing or show proof of trying to sell the house, in which
case they would give me an extension if it hadn’t sold by the end of three
months. I did that and called back because I couldn’t find the will and wasn’t
sure how I could sell the house without it. They then told me I would need to
go through probate, which would stop proceedings with them until probate was
complete. I called one more time to deal with the insurance on the house and
they told me as of February 25, 2019, they no longer had to wait for probate to
finish before starting foreclosure. This was last week, and they told me I had
until April 20 before they would start those proceedings. They did say if I
started probate and could show proof of being assigned personal representative,
they could give me another 3 month extension. But I dont know what to believe
and that wasn’t enough time to do anything. I need some advice.

Asked on April 22, 2019 under Estate Planning, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The debt (the reverse mortgage) came due in full when your father passed away. The lender can foreclose if it is not paid in full, even if the home is in probate (or conversely, even if you have not started the probate process): the mortgage gives them a right to foreclose regardless of the statuts of your father's overall "estate." They don't need to give you any time to find financing or pay--they could if they chose, and many lenders will, because they'd rather get the money than the home, but that is their choice to make. If they choose to go ahead with foreclosing, the only way to stop is to pay off the entire amount prior to foreclosure.

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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