Daughter Needs Advice in Helping Elderly Mother with House

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Daughter Needs Advice in Helping Elderly Mother with House

My 76 year old mother whose house was paid in full at one point now has accumulated 2 mortgage loans on her home over the last 10 years. She is barely making the payments and I am supplementing a large portion of her income. I am trying to legally figure out options so she does not default and possibly lose her home. As her daughter, am I able to have my name added to the deed and then does that mean I will then assume the responsibility of the loans? Another option I was thinking is to have her add my name to the deed and try pay off the mortgage loans but if I do this is the house legally mine along with my mother as co-owners?

Asked on April 12, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) Regardless of whose name is on or added to the deed, the mortgages must be paid; if they are not, the home may be foreclosed upon.
2) If the mortgages are paid, whether by her, by you, or by you giving her money then her paying from her account, there will be no foreclosure. The banks don't care who writes the check, so long as the mortgages are paid.
3) You could buy the house from your mother and pay off the mortages during the purchase (whether you buy with cash or take out a mortgage in your name and use that to pay off the existing mortgages). You will then own the house, can obviously let your mother live there, but when your mother passes (or she moves to assisted living and you decide to sell the home), you will get the equity.
4) You cannot take over the existing loans without bank consent or approval. While nothing stops you from asking the banks for this, and there is no harm in asking, generally banks do not let you take over an existing loan--they prefer to have the loan paid off and/or orginate a new loan. You could potentially refinance (and pay off both existing loans) with a new mortgage which you and your mother jointly take out. If her loans are at higher than currently available interest rates, this might be a good option.


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