If my mom died and she has a manufactured home sitting on my sister’s land, does my sister have to pay the mortgage?

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If my mom died and she has a manufactured home sitting on my sister’s land, does my sister have to pay the mortgage?

Our mom moved there after a heart attack about 16 years ago. My sister let her place a manufactured home on an acre of her property. Mom passed 10 months ago. My sister has been paying the mortgage out off my mom’s estate. Now the money is gone. My sister is not on my mom’s house title; she is just the owner of the property. Does she have to pay the mortgage because it’s sitting on her land?

Asked on September 18, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, she does not, so long as she is not worried about the house being foreclosed by the bank: if she was not on the mortgage (we are assuming for purposes of this answer, that she is not), she is not liable for paying the mortgage. Only the people who take out the mortgage have to pay it. The bank can submit a claim against your mother's estate as an alternative to foreclosure; if they do, they can potentially get whatever money or assets were in the estate, up to the remaining principal balance of the mortgage. 
If the home is foreclosed, the buyer in the foreclosure sale can move the house, or can work out an arrangement with your sister to rent land and access.


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