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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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My mom recently died and evrything went into probate. Her house

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My mom recently died and evrything went into probate. Her house has a heloc that I have been paying since she passed. Will I be able to just take over the payments and keep the house, or will I have to refinance myself. My credit sucks, although I own my own home with a mortgage
Thank you for your question, and my condolences on your loss.

You would want to carefully review the mortgage documents (or have a lawyer do so). Loand documents often contain an acceleration clause that requires upon the death of your mother for full payment of the home to be made. I have heard of cases of banks allowing spouses to "step into the shoes" of a spouse who has passed and assume the mortgage, but not a child with a parent's mortgage.

That said, the lender may not even bother with the acceleration clause (if there is one) so long as payments are being made by someone. However, there are some potential complications if you do that - since you are not the borrower of record, they will not ever be willing to discuss the loan with you if ever there is a problem, nor will they give you a payoff statement if you did want to sell or refinance, and the tax benefit of the interest payments cannot be claimed by you. Therefore, there are benefits to refinancing in your own name if possible. I would definitely dicuss your options further with an estate/probate attorney.

If you need help locating one in Florida, call the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 1800-342-8011, and they can set you up a consultation with a local attorney in your area for a 30 minute consultation for $25.
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