Information & Advice on Mortgage Probate

My mother passed away Sept. 2006 and refinanced her house I believe that same year. Can a bank follow up with her children?

My mother past September 19, 2006 and refinanced her house I believe that same year. My brother received a letter from Wells Fargo that if they don't get $1500 by the 27th of this month, they will proceed with foreclosing. We are trying to keep the house and would like to know how we can save it.

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Bill's Answer
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You do not mention in your question how much equity you and your siblings have in your late mother's home, or whether or not ownership issues have been resolved through probate. (Follow the link I just mentioned to learn more about the probate process.) If you and your siblings have been declared the rightful owners of the property by the courts, and if you have enough equity in the property to allow for a refinance loan, then refinancing the current mortgage on the home may be a good option to explore. If you qualify, a refinance loan could bring the delinquent loan current and end the threats of foreclosure. A refinance may also lower the interest rate and provide a longer loan term, thereby lowering your monthly loan payments, which could make it much easier for you and your brothers to keep up with the mortgage payments.

If you want an introduction to pre-screened mortgage lenders, Bills.com makes it easy to compare mortgage offers and different loan types. Please visit the Free Mortgage Refinance Quote page and find a loan that meets your needs.

With the current tightening of the mortgage market, you may have a difficult time obtaining a refinance loan, especially if you have had past credit problems. The only way to determine whether or not you will qualify for a refinance loan is to apply for a loan with several different lenders and/or brokers. Not only will these mortgage professionals be able to tell you whether or not your currently qualify, but if you do not qualify, they can tell you what aspects of your financial situation are causing you problems, and make suggestions about how to improve your chances to qualify for a loan. If you would like to read more about mortgage refinance loans, I encourage you to visit the Bills.com Home Refinance Resources page. If you enter your contact information in the Bills.com Savings Center at the top of the page, we can have several pre-screened mortgage brokers contact you to discuss the loan options available to you.

If addition to exploring refinance options, you should contact the mortgage lender, Wells Fargo, to discuss what assistance, if any, they can offer to help your family retain ownership of your late mother's home and prevent foreclosure. Frequently, lenders will allow borrowers to repay the delinquent mortgage balance over time, or even move the delinquent amount to the end of the loan term. What assistance is available depends entirely on the lender, so you must contact the lender as soon as possible to explain your family's financial situation and request a repayment play to prevent foreclosure. Before most lenders will agree to this type of arrangement, they will want to verify that you will be able to make your future mortgage payments as they come due, as their assistance with the delinquency will not change your obligation to continue making your regular mortgage payments.

If you and your brothers find that you cannot refinance or afford the current mortgage payments on the home, you may want to consider selling the property to repay the mortgage and cash out any equity you have in the home. If you are unable to make your future mortgage payments, the lender may foreclose on your home, which could cause you to lose the equity your mother worked to build in the home. Selling the home would generally be preferable to allowing the property to go into foreclosure.

Consult With a Lawyer

Because you and your brothers inherited this property was inherited together, I encourage you to consult with a probate attorney in your state to assist you in resolving any outstanding ownership issues. An attorney may also be able suggest alternative ways to resolve the mortgage delinquency and could also assist you in distributing any proceeds if you decide to sell the home. If you do not already have an attorney assisting you with the disposition of your late mother's estate, find one by contacting your state or county Bar Association's attorney referral service — find your state bar online or in your local phone book.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving the delinquency on your late mother's home.

I hope information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.

Best,

Bill

Bills.com

12 Comments

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  • BA
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    Consult with the attorney who is probating your mother's estate regarding the mortgage. It appears the mortgage may have a prepayment penalty, which may not be legal in your state. If you are not probating the estate with an attorney, now is the time to start working with one.
    0 Votes

  • 35x35
    Mar, 2010
    deanna
    my mother passed away in october. she had pulled out a mortage with a secondary lender about 6 months before her passing. we have kept the mortage is good standing as we await for probate to be finalized. they had sent us a letter a few weeks ago and said that if we are needing to change the mortage in anyway without penalty that it is to be done by the end of the month and if not that we are locked into the mortgage for another 2 years.the interest rates are outragous, but we are forced into the mortgage until probate gets threw and we have title on the house. my question is, once probate gets threw we will be changing the lender to a major bank with normal interest rates but are these "loan sharks" intitled to charging penalty and are there regulations since i am not the one that had originally signed with them.i understand the prior to probate going threw i need to act in her name but once title is in the benificiaries names, do we still have to be restrained by what my mother had done? as well are there regualtions that secondary lenders need to abyed by?-thank you
    0 Votes

  • BA
    Mar, 2010
    Bill
    There is not enough information in your message for me to answer your question. I urge you to consult with an attorney to 1) Be certain the estate is being probated according to Florida law, 2) Understand your spouse's rights and liabilities regarding the property in question, 3) Consider setting up a trust for the property for your own estate planning purposes.
    0 Votes

  • RG
    Mar, 2010
    Regina
    We moved in my ill in-laws a year ago in Flordia and started paying the mortgage. They put my husband on the deed to house and left the house to him in the will. They both recently passed. His brother is over the estate and now saying the lender will take the house back. Mortgage has been paid on time. Can we lose the house?
    0 Votes

  • MC
    Jul, 2009
    Mark
    The first part of my answer assumes you never probated your mother's will. If this is the case you need to contact a skilled attorney who specializes in wills and trusts immediately. Check with your county's bar association to get a list of specialists in your area who can help you with your issue. Do it now. Do not procrastinate. You mentioned that your goal is saving your home -- it's not yours, yet. And, it may never be if you keep putting off what you know you should have done 18 months ago. However, if you did probate the will, contact the attorney who probated the will and bring to his or her attention the mortgage issue.
    0 Votes