My daughter’s mother died with a mortgage balance. Can the mortgage company come after my daughter for the balance?

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My daughter’s mother died with a mortgage balance. Can the mortgage company come after my daughter for the balance?

Her mother lived in the house with a partner for 23 years but they were not
married and his name is not on the mortgage contract.
Who will the mortgage company go after for the mortgage balance?

Asked on October 22, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

A mortgage is a contract; only the people who signed the contract are liable for it. So if your mother was the only person on the contract, the lender can go after her "estate"--the money and other assets or property she left behind--but cannot go after her partner or daughter. If the mortgage balance is greater than what the mother left behind, the lender could potentially take the entire estate, so nobody inherits, but they can't make your daughter or the partner pay their own money. They can also foreclose on the house, which means that if your daughter (who would likely inherit, unless her mother had a will leaving the house to someone else) wants to keep the house and inherit it, she'd have to pay the mortgage off--but it would be her voluntary choice whether or not to to this. She does not have to pay if she does not want.


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