Am I responsible for mortgage on condo during probate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I responsible for mortgage on condo during probate?

My mother passed without a will. My sister and I have been named executors of
property through probate process. We have been holding mortgage payments and
condo fees in account. Recently I received a collection letter from the condo
organization that collects condo fees for the balance.

Please advise.

Asked on June 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, District of Columbia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are not personally liable for the money--you don't have to pay out of pocket; you can't be sued for it--but the estate is still responsible, and the bank is still entitled to mortgage payments, and the condo association to its fees. If those amounts are not paid, the bank and association can do all the things they could do (other than suing you personally) in the event of nonpayment: they could foreclose, for example; or put a lien on the property; or sue the estate (the money and assets left behind by your mother) for the amount owed.
When a person dies, his or her mortgage becomes due in full if there is no surviving joint- or co-mortgagor (not another, surviving person on the mortgage). They could seek payment in full of the mortgage balance and foreclose if not paid. 
While you do not have to pay it personally, not being signatories to the mortgage, if you want to keep the property (not have it foreclosed), you may need to decide to pay voluntarily.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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