If a spouse dies and leaves an unpaid property loan, is the living spouse responsible for paying for that loan? 20 Answers as of March 07, 2014

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Not if the spouse was not on the loan. However, if the loan is secured by property the surviving spouse would have to pay it to retain the property.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/7/2014
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
If the debt was incurred during the marriage in all likelihood it would be considered a community debt and the remaining spouse would be responsible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/7/2014
Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
The answer to this question has a lot of what ifs. If the spouse is co-signer or guaranteed the loan then yes, check with an attorney. If the loan is on property the spouse expects to retain, then probably yes.
Answer Applies to: New Mexico
Replied: 3/6/2014
Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
Not sure what you mean by "property loan." If you mean a loan secured by a mortgage on the property, then the surviving spouse is not obligated to pay the loan or fulfill the mortgage obligations unless the spouse signed the promissory note, mortgage, or a guaranty. However, the lender will foreclose the mortgage and take the property if the loan is not paid.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/6/2014
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
If the loan is a recorded lien against the property and doesn't get paid the lender can take the property regardless who inherits. So in a round about way, if you want to keep the property then yes, you are responsible for paying the loan. If you don't care about the property then you probably don?t need to worry about making the payments and the lender will take it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/6/2014
    The Law Office of David L. Leon
    The Law Office of David L. Leon | David L. Leon
    If the loan is secured by the property, then the beneficiary can either continue to pay the loan or give up the property in most cases.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If you were not on the loan, then no you have no liability if the loan is not paid. HOWEVER - If the "property loan" was secured by a mortgage or a Deed Of Trust, then if the payments are not made, the lender can foreclose and take the property. So if this is the case, then you would have to make the payments or pay off the loan or face the possibility of losing the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    When you say "property loan," do you mean a mortgage? If so, yes; whoever inherits the property inherits subject to the mortgage.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    You didn't specify what type of loan the husband left unpaid. If it is the mortgage on the home, if the surviving spouse doesn't pay this the mortgage company or bank could foreclose on the home; if this is medical debt the surviving spouse may well be obligated to pay that. On credit card debt it may depend on how the account was set up and whether the surviving spouse used the card or not; was this business debt? There are many unanswered questions and I suggest you retain counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Is the loan secured to the property? Is the property going back to the lender or to the spouse. These questions should be addressed with an attorney. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If the loan is in the deceased spouse?s name, his/her estate is responsible for paying the loan. If there is no money in the estate, if the personal representative cannot make a deal with the holder of the loan, they will just have to write it off.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    I would have to know more about the circumstances, but loan and/or a security interest in the deceased spouse's property would survive and be an obligation of the estate. I would strongly suggest that you take the documentation and explain the entire situation to the attorney of your choice. If you are in Michigan you are welcome to call Musilli Brennan Associates at 586-778-0900 to engage my firm, and with additional information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Yes, if you want to keep the property. Otherwise the bank will foreclose and sell the property to satisfy the loan.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If it is community property and you want to keep the property, yes. If you don't want the property and the estate does not have the funds to pay the debt, then give the property back to the lender.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Yes. The loan is secured by the property. If the spouse wants to keep the property, they must pay the loan. At James Law Group we make every effort to respond to you quickly and efficiently. This means we may be responding to you from a mobile device. As you know, responding on these devices can result in typographical errors that my otherwise not occur. In order to provide this extra service, please be aware of this and excuse any errors that may be caused by responding in this forum.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    If by ?property? you mean real estate, yes. Unless of course you don?t want to keep the property. The lender will foreclose on the property if the loan payments are not made.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Not directly. If the loan is a lien on the property, however, and the spouse fails to pay, then the property can be lost to foreclosure. Without more facts from you, it is hard to provide any more detailed information.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    James M. Chandler | James M. Chandler
    If you do not pay it they will foreclose on the home.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Is the surviving spouse is not a signor of the loan, the surviving spouse is not legally obligated to pay the debt. Unless the debt was incurred as a community property debt. Also, if the loan is secured, not paying the loan will likely result in foreclosure or repossession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/6/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If the loan is secured by real estate then the security interest remains in place and follows the real estate to the new owner. If the spouse succeeds to the ownership of the property then the spouse would have to pay the loan to assure enjoyment of the property. If the spouse the sold the property the debt would have to be paid out of the sale proceeds. The debt is not a personal obligation of the spouse (provided it is not a family debt or the spouse did not join in the obligation as a co-borrower). The spouse could abandon the property or surrender it to the lender. If the loan is a typical mortgage then it is likely that it contains a due on sale clause that gives the lender the right to call the loan when ownership is transferred to a non-borrower. If the loan is a personal obligation of the decedent then it must be paid out of the assets of the decedent's estate, just like any other creditor claim, before the estate assets can be distributed to the heirs and legatees of the decedent. This could result in the forced sale of the property if no other assets are available to pay the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/6/2014
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