If my grandmother and I own her house as joint tenants with rights of survivorship but there is an HELOC on it, can I lose the house?

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2013

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If my grandmother and I own her house as joint tenants with rights of survivorship but there is an HELOC on it, can I lose the house?

She has a 25K line of credit against her home, upon her death if she doesn’t have the money to pay, can they take the home from me?

Asked on March 28, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Arizona


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Since there is a right of survivorship, you will become the sole legal owner upon your grandmother's death (a fact of which you seem to be already aware). However, to the extent that the property has a lien against it (here for a home equity loan), you will need to see that the loan is paid or else the lender can foreclose on the property.

That having been said, typically when real estate is "inherited" (in whole or in part), the new owner (here, you the former co-owner and now sole owner) can continue to pay the HELOC and not be forced to refinance it. Otherwise, as already stated, you risk losing the property to foreclosure.

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