Q: If someone files bankruptcy to stop home foreclosure but passes away before it's final, what happens to the home?
Also, if the bank will take the house for what's owed to them, can the surviving family take over the debt so that they can keep the house?
A: The bankruptcy ends when the person who filed dies. The house not having been foreclosed now belongs to who ever inherits the deceased owner's interest in the house subject to other claims by the deceased owners creditors which may or may not require a probate to sort out. Any foreclosure processs that wasn't already completed will need to now give notice to the new owners or the personal representative of the deceased owners estate. Whether or not the heirs or devisees can take over the mortgage will depend on many factors. First the mortgage still needs to be caught up if it is delinquent and the lender is not required to wait around for that to happen. The mortgage may specify what happens to the loan when the borrower dies so you have to read the mortgage document. It is common for mortgage companies to work with a surviving spouse so they can keep the house and continue to pay the mortgage. I am not sure if this works as well for relatives who are not a surviving spouse but there may be a way to do this. The biggest hurdle is going to be catching up the mortgage so it is current. I highly recommend that you go and talk to a lawyer as soon as possible because in these types of situations the sooner you figure this out the better.
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