If my father-in-law put our name on deed to house in order to get us to pay the taxes, can we change it back to the original owner’s name?

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If my father-in-law put our name on deed to house in order to get us to pay the taxes, can we change it back to the original owner’s name?

My mother-in-law took a loan on grandparent’s house after they died. My wife and I moved in. Mother-in-law died 7 years ago and her name was the only one on the loan. Father-in-law tried to get us to stay and the bank has continued the loan. Father-in-law put our name on the deed for tax purposes. We have not paid the taxes in 3 years and are letting the bank foreclose. Can we change the name back to my deceased mother-in-law’s? We do not want the back taxes in our name.

Asked on January 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No.  You can not transfer title to a person who is not alive and in an obvious attempt to avoid responsibility to pay back tax liability.  Did you consent to the transfer in the first place?  Then you knew what you were getting in to and you can not now claim that you did not.  When you say "foreclosure" do you mean on the mortgage as well or do you mean on just the taxes?  I would seek help with all of this in order to save the property if it is worth the saving.  Possibly a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure if you do not want to keep it.  Is the house worth more than the mortgage?  then the ale can go to pay the back taxes.  If not then ask for a waiver of deficiency judgement and make a deal on the taxes. Good luck.


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