If my siblings and I are on our mother’s deed to her house and she takes out a home equity loan, are we responsible to pay the loan if she defaults?

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If my siblings and I are on our mother’s deed to her house and she takes out a home equity loan, are we responsible to pay the loan if she defaults?

Asked on September 8, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The answer is both no and yes.
"No," in that if you are not signatories to the loan--you did not take it out--you are not personally liable on the loan and cannot be personally sued for nonpayment.
"Yes" in that the loan will have a security interest against the home when your mother dies, the loan will have to be paid if it is not paid, the home can be foreclosed upon by the lender.
One property owner should not be able to encumber property without the consent of the others you mother should not be able to get this loan unless her children on the deed agree and if she has already taken the loan, it may be possible to void it--speak with a real estate attorney about your options.


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