If I signed the mortgage but did not sign the note, am I financially responsible?

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If I signed the mortgage but did not sign the note, am I financially responsible?

My mother recently passed away. While staying with her during college, she bought a home and I signed the mortgage to build my credit. I now live several hours away and want nothing to do with the house. There was nothing left to leave an estate.

Asked on March 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Just to clarify here you signed only the mortgage, not the note AND your name is not on the deed to the property, correct?  And your Mother signed both the note and the mortgage and her name alone is on the deed, correct? The deed evidences ownership of the property.  The mortgage is a promise to pledge the property as collateral, but it can only pledge what your ownership interest is in the property.  The note is a promise to a lender to pay back a debt.   So really what happened here is that only your Mother's estate will be held liable for the debt, and in the event of non-payment, only her Esatate will have a foreclosure show up on a credit report.  I would not suggest just waling away.  You can speak with the note holder and see about signing a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or short sale the house. You have no personal liability either way.  Good luck. 


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