If you inherit a house are you responsible to pay off the mortgage?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If you inherit a house are you responsible to pay off the mortgage?

My mom passed away a couple years ago. The house went to my brother and I, which I I

live in now. My mom had taken a loan out and still owes the bank money. Are we responsible for paying off the loan?

Asked on December 6, 2016 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.
Yes in the sense that unless the loan is paid, the bank has the right to foreclose and take the house; so if you want to keep the house, you have to make sure the loan is paid or refinanced in your name(s).
No in the sense that if you are not a signatory or party to the loan, they can't personally pursue you for the money--all they can do is take the house, since the loand is not a debt of you personally (they can take the house because regardless of who currently owns it, the home secures the mortgage). So if you willing to lose the home, you do not need to pay.

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