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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33554
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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My sister died a couple months ago and left a house in

Customer Question

My sister died a couple months ago and left a house in Maryland. Her siblings are her heirs. The deed is in her name and her partner, who died in 2013. We have not found a will from the partner or any documents giving rights to my sister. The partner had no close relatives and all we know is she had a cousin, but we don't know how to find the cousin.
The house has a mortgage and because of a refinancing a few years ago, there is not much, if any, equity. We wanted to give the house back to the bank but they would not do deed in lieu without offering it up for short sale first. If we put it on the market we would probably need to have the cousin involved, but we don't know how to find the cousin.
Our question is, what happens if we just forget about it and let the bank foreclose. Will there be any claims from the bank against my sister's modest estate ($5000). We figure on a good day the house is worth about $250000 as is, and the mortgage is $244000.
Would we be better off to just let it go to foreclosure and not worry about it?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

The bank can make a claim against the estate for any amount of money that is owed after the sale but it's been my experience that they rarely do in a small estate. They end up spending more on the attorneys than they recover.

The decision on whether or not to let them foreclose is a personal one, but keeping it doesn't appear economically feasible.