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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7406
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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My father in law got the loan for our home and gave us a piece of land to put a home on. His own home is on the same land. WE had the portion of land that he gave us surveyed off and purchased a double wide and put on this land. Their is a deed of trust only on our portion of land. NO separate deed was drawn up for our portion of land. His will left all he owned to my mother in law who died before him. He never got the will updated and had left his wife as administrator of his will. Since they have both died my sister in law took on the role of administrix. My father in law only signed the loan papers. We have made every payment on the home since day one from our own checking account and I have a paper trail as proof. We also paid all the closing costs. The bank is telling everyone to leave the loan alone as we do not have good enough credit yet to refinance in our name. They said we can continue to pay on this loan as is they are fine with it. The siblings wanted the bank to sign a paper stating that they can not go after the heirs if something were to happen and we not be able to pay for the home. Which will not happen. The bank refused to take the home out of the estate of and wants it left alone and we pay as is. We want to do that but the estate lawyer keeps stating that it will be hanging over the heirs heads till the loan is paid off or we get it refinanced. WE don't want to lose our home but we have no options we have tried everything. My question is can we be forced to leave our home? My husbands siblings want my husband to sign a paper to allow them to sell my father in laws land and home so that they can get their inheritance. They are not wanting to give my husband any of the money from the sell. They want us to wait and let our home go back to the bank or sell it because they do not want it hanging over their heads for 30 years. My husband asked about his portion of the sell then and the reply was you get the land. Well not if we have to sell the home or give it back to the bank. We are in the hole with the home. 

Hello and thanks for submitting this question. First, let me clarify one important fact. None of the heirs can ever be personally liable for the loans that your father in law signed. Only the property, or properties can be taken by the bank if the loans are not paid by someone. The bank doesn't have to sign off on anything in that regard. I'm confused about why you had your plot surveyed but never got a deed to it from his father; however, that can, and should be done by his estate now. Then, the estate can sell his home and the remaining land, provided that the bank releases that part from its trust deed. I agree with your lawyer that your property can remain in the name of the estate indefinitely, but I believe that a better solution is for the estate to deed it to your husband subject to the mortgage. This can all be easily settled by an agreement between the heirs and the bank and no one has to lose anything.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The bank refuses to sign any papers. They want to leave it as is. The estate lawyer is telling the heirs that it will be hanging over their heads for 30 years. My question was and still is.... Can the other 3 heirs force us off our land legally?

Hello again. I need to clarify your situation. I believe you said that the bank's mortgage is only on that part of the land where your home sits and not on the part that has the father's former home. If that is correct, then the land with the home on it could be sold separately by the estate and the proceeds divided by everyone. That would leave the parcel that is being bought and paid for by you and your spouse, which has the bank's mortgage on it. Even though that tract is also in your father's name and now held in the estate, if the estate were to try to sell it, I believe you can oppose the sale and show the court that it actually has been purchased and is equitably owned by you. You will need a good real estate lawyer to prevail on that theory though. The probate court can order it deeded to you, subject to the bank's mortgage which you'll continue to pay. There is no risk to your siblings that they would ever be liable. If you fail to pay, the bank can only foreclose the mortgage against you, and even you are not personally liable on the loan. The solution is pretty simple and your lawyer and the estate's lawyer should be able to work it out easily with a court approved agreement.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you ever so much. Looks like we will be going to court as the sibilings are upset that my father in law helped us to obtain our home. My husband lost his job 7 years ago and we lost our good credit with it. By the time he got another high paying job. Now we have to start all over and we were living in their basement at the time. Rent is too high in our area cheaper to buy a home so my father in law offered. We have paid everything including the closing cost. We did not even want a portion of the sell from my father in laws home even though my husband can demand it. But we just want our home that we live in right now. :) They have lied to us about a deed being made up in my husbands name for the land stating that the bank refuses to let a deed be drawn up under anyone else name but that on the mortgage which is my father in law. Is this true?

They have lied to us about a deed being made up in my husbands name for the land stating that the bank refuses to let a deed be drawn up under anyone else name but that on the mortgage which is my father in law. Is this true?

Sorry to hear everyone has their back up. If there's not a huge amount involved, maybe when they learn how much a contested probate matter might cost them, they'll reconsider. Banks typically couldn't care less about whose name is on title because its mortgage/trust deed will always be a first lien no matter who owns it. No change of ownership can affect it. If the probate court approves distribution to you and spouse, I can assure you that the bank will not call the loan. In fact it would violate Federal Law if it did. The lawyer you spoke with sounds like she knows what she's doing. The estate lawyer, not so much. I would hire that attorney just to be prepared to file objections to any petition to sell property that includes your home tract. I think she'll see how to use that, plus your husband's interest in the other home as leverage on the estate to work out a favorable settlement for you folks. Good luck.