Can we be forced to keep my mothers house?
February 3, 2013 10:50 AM Subscribe
My mother recently passed away leaving a substantial debt. The bulk of this debt is in the form of two houses that she remortgaged. One is underwater in a very flat housing market, the other is the family house that we grew up in that my younger brother is currently living in.
posted by anonymous to work & money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's the first house that is the issue. I am vague on the details (I live quite a bit away and have not been participating in the dealings), but here are the facts as I know them: We were told by the closest person to my mother that my mother had mortgage insurance which would have paid the mortgage off at the time of her death, however, we cannot find the mortgage agreement. We do not have a copy.
My elder brother, the executor of the estate, approached the bank, which has not been overly cooperative in this matter, to, in his words, "give them back the house". They refused. I don't know any more detail than this. The bank is attempting to renegotiate terms of the mortgage for a lesser amount and lesser rate with my brother.
There is no attachment to this house, it is not possible to rent it to break even, and there is no desire on anyone's part to be a landlord in any case. We just want the house and it's debt gone.
Is it possible that a bank can refuse to foreclose? Can't my brother just not make the mortgage payments? Do they have a claim on the rest of the estate (which is negatively valued in any case)? Are they required to give us a copy of the mortgage?
Regarding the second house, my younger brother is attempting to get a new mortgage in his name to keep that house, which I do not believe is underwater, but he does not have good credit and none of us siblings are willing to co-sign because of a lifelong history of him not meeting his financial obligations. We do, however, feel it's best for him to be able to stay in the house and he is currently (barely) meeting the existing mortgage payments. This may be the only positive asset my mother left (There is additional credit card debt). Can the bank on the first house go after the second house?
This is in New York State.