Upper Marlboro, MD asked in Probate for Maryland

Q: Sister died owning mortgage on house we shared 35 yrs. I want to stay. I’m not on deed. What to do?

I am personal representative for her estate. If I have to qualify for mortgage in my name I am afraid I would not (bad credit). I have kept up the payments

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2 Lawyer Answers
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
Marie-Yves Nadine Jean-Baptiste
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: I am sorry for your loss. If your sister passed away owning a home, the home, depending on how it's titled, has to go through probate. If you are the only sibling, no spouse, and none of your parents are alive and she didn't have any children, then you can rightfully inherit the house. However, you should transfer the home into your name by way of a deed. This is a cleaner way of doing things. As for the mortgage, the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 prevents the mortgage company from interfering with the mortgage. You don't need to refinance the home. Just make sure you can handle the payments. Good luck and take care!

1 user found this answer helpful

Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Once the time period for creditor claims has passed (6 months), the Personal Representative can file an account with the court and as soon as that is approved, deed the property to the heir(s).

Your post doesn't indicate whether or not there are other heirs, but once the estate is ready to disburse the Personal Representative files an account (or final report) showing how the estate assets will be given out and then does the deed. My firm regularly does these kinds of deeds, as do many other attorneys in this state.

If there are no creditors or other heirs who need to be paid off then a person inheriting property from a relative can lawfully "assume" the mortgage without need to formally refinance. As another attorney noted, this comes from a federal law that allows assumptions in certain cases.

In most cases the person inheriting the property (if they don't want to or can't refinance) would reach out to the existing lender and provide them with the death certificate and copy of the new deed out of the estate.

While not legal advice or a promise to represent, I hope that this helps!

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