Nashville, TN asked in Banking, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Tennessee

Q: My grandfather passed away and left his estate in my name. My grandmother is still alive and the bank is threatening

foreclosure, because they owe $27,000. As the property owner what are my options?

2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Leonard Robert Grefseng
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Columbia, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If the bank is threatening foreclosure- that usually means they have a lien on the property, and if you acquired that property by inheritance, you acquired the property SUBJECT to the Banks lien: this means that if you want to keep the property, you will have to pay the loan. You don't owe the debt, but again, if you want to keep the PROPERTY, the lien must be satisfied. The debt is not extinguished by the death, your grandfathers assets can be sold to pay his funeral bills and any other debts he owed.

Consult an experienced probate lawyer for specific advice.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: You do need to contact a Tennessee probate attorney to get the property retitled in your name. Depending on what else is included in your grandfather's estate, this could be a simple process or it could be a full probate. There is no way of knowing without a full consultation.

In the meantime, you should provide a copy of the death certificate and your grandfather's will to the bank to establish yourself as his "successor in interest". After being so notified, by law the bank is obligated to send monthly statements to you and discuss the loan with you, but you in the meantime are not obligated to assume the loan.

You WILL need to keep making the mortgage payments in order to prevent foreclosure. If there are any past due installments, you will need to bring the loan current, the sooner the better. Presumably the estate is worth more than $27,000 in terms of actual value and sentimental value, so it is in your best interest to do so.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

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