Sykesville, MD asked in Bankruptcy for Pennsylvania

Q: My father filed bankruptcy about 7 years ago. He had a home and a step grandson’s name was on the deed. Dad died 3.5

3.5 years ago. No will. I was POA. The above person, J... has been living there and paying mortgage. I have no problem with that and bank said it could continue that way. Now J.. wants to refinance and the bank says that me and my brothers have to do a quit claim deed to relinquish our rights. What rights? I thought the bank owned the place now. We were never on the deed, and all of us live out of state. Something seems off to me.

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1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Bankruptcy Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: When a person dies intestate, his property owned at the time of death passes to his legal heirs, i.e., those heirs defined by the intestacy statute in the state of the decedent's domicile. In almost all states, the children of the deceased, and wife, are the designated heirs. A grandchild is not normally named as a direct heir in the statutes. Assuming MD's intestacy statute provides that the children (and wife, if he is married and she survives him) of a decedent automatically become owners of the decedent's property. In this case, there probably should have been a probate in court (because of the real property), but it would be normal and advisable, at least for a new lender, to ensure that the stepgrandson has legal title, so that a Mortgage signed by him in favor of the refinancing lender will be valid. Not sure why you would think that the bank owned the property, unless there was a foreclosure and the bank bought the property at the foreclosure sale.

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