Will I face financial repercussions on a foreclosure when I’m not on the mortgage note?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Will I face financial repercussions on a foreclosure when I’m not on the mortgage note?

My grandfather bought a house in 2006 in Baltimore MD. Only his name is on the note. He quit-claimed me onto the title in 2008. My grandfather passed away in 2018, the property is underwater and I do not want to take a loss on the sale. I’d like to stop payments and allow it to go to foreclosure. Can I do this without financial repercussion? Should I first quit-claim my name off the title before I stop paying on mortgage?


Asked on February 13, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You will face no repercussions. A mortgage note is a contract; as with any contract, only the people who are parties to it (who sign it; whose names are on it) are bound or obligated under it. You do not need to pay a note which you are not on. The house can, of course, be foreclosed; and the lender can also put in a claim against or sue your grandfather's "estate" (the money and assets and property he left behind) for any amounts due under the note, so this could eat into what you might otherwise inherit, if anything. However, you will not be personally liable for a mortgage you did not take out and are not on.

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