Detroit, MI asked in Real Estate Law for Michigan

Q: my dad died. He took out a loan on the house owed by the estate of my dad. Now they are askin me to be named a successor

does this make me liable for the loan

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Fowlerville, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: "Named a successor" to WHAT? Without seeing the proposed paperwork it is impossible to say what they're asking and whether or not you'll be liable for the loan. Seek local legal representation to review the ENTIRE transaction to determine whether or not it makes sense, is in your best interest, or would simply create problems for you down the road.

You may be an 'heir' but that doesn't mean you're responsible for debts. It DOES mean the estate will need to pay off the loans the deceased took out before you inherit anything, and if the loan balances are about the same or greater than the asset values, it may make no sense for you to begin the probate process. You need a local licensed attorney to review everything to let you know what (if anything!) you should do.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

David Soble
David Soble
  • Farmington Hills, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: The answer depends on what you wish to do with the home.

If you are probating the home, and you are the personal representative for your father's estate, you will not be liable for the debts of your father, including his mortgage. As the personal representative, you can sell the home and pay off the underlying loan.

If you wish to keep your father's home for yourself, then, under federal law, the lender will ask for evidence that you are related to the homeowner, and will allow you to continue making payments under the mortgage. You will need to provide them documentation to support the ability to make payments on the mortgage. The lender will not call the loan due, even if your father is the deceased and was the primary mortgagor.

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