Wesley Chapel, FL asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Tax Law for Florida

Q: I have a quitclaim deed written as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship. Does the mortgage transfer? (Florida)

I live in Land O Lakes, FL. My mother passed away in November. We have lived in the same house together since the house was built in 1998. We have a quitclaim deed written as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship.

I have continued to pay the mortgage, on time, but recently considered refinancing to do a few home improvements. However, when I contacted the mortgage company, they told me I was not on the mortgage and have refused to give me any information. They said they'd mail me paperwork. Once I received their letter, I provided the paperwork they requested (deed, death certificate, and ID) and have still heard nothing. I thought the servicer had to treat a successor in interest as the borrower and provide information about the loan?

Does the mortgage transfer? I'm also worried about Homeowner's Exemption and SOH. Is that something that doesn't transfer? What should I be doing?

Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

2 Lawyer Answers
Stephen K. Hachey
Stephen K. Hachey
  • Tampa, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: No, the mortgage does not transfer.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Oh my. FYI, there is a big difference between being on a deed as a joint owner of the real estate with your deceased and being on the note and mortgage that existed before you received the quitclaim deed--probably given to you from your mother or your father--or both; right? And I guess no now ever bothered to notify the bank either; right.

WARNING: You have just created a serious problem for yourself by calling the bank's attention to the fact that your mother--an original owner and original mortgagor--is deceased--and that you are the only human on earth available to continue paying the note and mortgage.

Here is the problem: Unless the note and mortgage are unlike most others used in the industry, by transferring the property from your mother's name into your name--with or without her name can cause the lender to declare a default and foreclose on the mortgage.

Even if they choose not to foreclose, they certainly DO NOT have to grant you the new loan; nor do they have to treat you "special" if you ever miss any mortgage payments. Whoever they are, the lender will continue watching this loan very closely--so be very careful what you tell them. Better yet: Hire a banking lawyer to help you save the home.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

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