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Saving a Delinquent Mortgage in Probate

My mom passed away in 2007, I am trying to pay for her mortgage. How can I catch up while we are in probate?

My mom passed on June 28, 2007. She left no will. I was able to make 1 payment after that on her home but since have been unable to. I am currently 3 months behind. How can I catch the payments up while we are going through probate? I would hate to lose my moms home she worked so hard for it.

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Bill's Answer
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First, contact the lender to discuss the delinquency and what repayment options it can offer to bring the loan current while the estate passes through the probate process. The lender may be willing to to defer the delinquent payments, or even make a reduced payment amount, while your mother's estate is in probate. If you fail to communicate with the lender, a foreclosure is much more likely than if you explain your situation to the lender and work with the mortgage company to repay the delinquency.

If you have any siblings or other relatives who stand to benefit from inheritance of your late mother's home, ask them to assist you in making these mortgage payments while your mother's estate is in probate. Your relatives have a vested interest in helping you save the home, and will hopefully be willing to help you make the mortgage payments. Read this foreclosure article to learn more about the process.

Once the probate proceedings are complete and you have been declared the owner of your late mother's home, you may be able to refinance the current mortgage, which could make keeping the home over the long term much easier. A refinance loan is essentially a new mortgage on your home — the refinance lender pays off your old mortgage company and becomes your new mortgage holder. Depending on the interest rate being charged on the current mortgage, a refinance loan may allow you to obtain a lower interest rate and lower the monthly mortgage payments. Whether or not you can qualify for a refinance loan, or at least a loan that will save you money, depends on your credit score and how much equity your mother had in the home. Refinance lenders base the interest rates they offer on the potential borrower's credit score and the "loan to value" ratio (LTV) of the potential loan. Your loan to value ratio compares the amount of the loan you need to the value of the home. Ideally, your LTV should be 80% or less, meaning the refinance loan equals 80% or less of the market value of the home. However, depending on your credit rating, you may be able to find refinance loans at a higher LTV, though you can expect to pay a higher interest rate, as lenders are taking more risk lending at higher loan to value ratios. To learn more about refinance loans, I encourage you to visit the mortgage refinance page.

If you intend to sell the home, contact a real estate agent for assistance in setting the appropriate offering price and marketing the home. If you find that you cannot keep up with the mortgage payments after probate, selling the home should allow you to cash out the equity in the house and prevent foreclosure. However, keep in mind that while the home is on the market, you will still be required to keep the mortgage payments current to prevent foreclosure. Once the home is sold, you and any other heirs can distribute the proceeds amongst yourselves.

I wish you the best of luck in your efforts to save your late mother's home, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.



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