Q: My Mom was served a civil action mortgage foreclosure on her dead son’s home. He was single/no kids. Must she respond?
She has no money, is on disability, and lives check to check. My step dad and little brother were also named in the paperwork. What should we do! They have no interest in the home and wouldn’t qualify to finance anything.
A: All states have "intestacy statutes", determining how a decedent's property will be distributed, and to whom. You don't say where the property is located, which would determine which state's law would be applicable, as to that property. The foreclosing creditor most probably researched the identities of who would be the legal heirs to the decedent's property, and rather than wait for an Estate to raised to attend to the decedent's debts, the foreclosing creditor has jumped into the foreclosure, hoping to "foreclose out" all of the son's legal heirs. From the creditor's perspective, it would be safer to wait until an Estate proceeding was initiated, and a probate court determined the identities of the heirs, but apparently the creditor does not wish to wait any longer to foreclose and get paid on the defaulted mortgage debt. Without seeing the Complaint, I cannot say whether your mom needs to respond to it. Probably not, if she has not signed or guaranteed the mortgage note, and there is no equity in the property worth saving.
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