My wife passed away over a year ago and left her house that is in her name and her dead 2nd husbands's name, to myself and her 2 daughters(my stepdaughters). I went through a lawyer and bought the 2 daughters share, the lawyer had the deed to the house put in my name and registered in the public records. However the mortgage is NOT in my name. It's still in my dead wife's and her dead 2nd husband's name. I have been making payments for about a year and a half since my wife's death. jThere is about half of the value still owed. The house has problems I didn't know about when I did the buyout and I am thinking of just walking away and let the house be foreclosed. . Will this affect my credit since the mortagage is not in my name? Thanks.
2 Answers from Attorneys
It possibly may not (if you never assumed the mortgage), but from what you posted why would you walk away from a home where the mortgage balance is half of the value? Wouldn't you want to sell it and pocket the cash?
Generally when you inherit real property, you inherit it subject to the mortgage. If the home was upside down in value (where you had little or no equity), I could see telling the bank to come and get the home.
When you notify the mortgage lender (did you do that here?) some mortgage companies will automatically add your name to the mortgage. Some will not. I suggest that you check with the lender about this and look at the mortgage loan documents to see if they say anything about assumption of the mortgage by beneficiaries.
However, if the mortgage balance is 1/2 the value of the house, I wouldn't walk away. I would either fix it up and rent it out, or sell it. If you don't fix it, that is ok - you can sell sell it as is but you will have to disclose the existence of the problems. However, you will not be able to get as good a price as if you fixed it.
Regarding your credit, the answer is if the mortgage is not in your name then it should not be reported, unless your name is added or you are deemed to have assumed the mortgage. As I said, you need to check with the lender about this.