Roseville, MN asked in Estate Planning and Foreclosure for Puerto Rico

Q: Are heirs responsible for a parents debt in Puerto Rico?

My father who was a resident of Puerto Rico passed away. He had a house where the mortgage was more than the value of the house. The house is going into foreclosure and will likely not bring much money. Am I responsible for that debt or does the debt stop with the value of the estate?

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2 Lawyer Answers
T. Augustus Claus
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A: Heirs are generally not personally responsible for their parent's debt unless they have co-signed or guaranteed the debt.

Rafael  Pagan-Colon
Rafael Pagan-Colon
  • Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
  • San Juan, PR
  • Licensed in Puerto Rico

A: The Rule of Law in Puerto Rico for hereditary estates is that the heirs, having accepted their inheritance, subrogate themselves in the deceased place regarding the estate's assets and liabilities. If an estate is more debt than assets, the heirs may repudiate their inheritance. Be advised that, if all of the heirs repudiate, the heirs' children would then inherit in their own right. If any of these is underage, the parents cannot repudiate for them without procuring court authorization. In that scenario, the creditors can then go before the court and request to subrogate themselves in the heirs' rights in order to collect moneys owed by the deceased at the time of his/her death.

Furthermore, should a creditor decide to go before the courts to foreclose on an unpaid mortgage, the Puerto Rico Rules of Civil Procedure require that all of the heirs be served the lawsuit in order to bring them under the courts jurisdiction.

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