What to do in my deceased mother left behind a mortgaged home thatI don’t want?

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What to do in my deceased mother left behind a mortgaged home thatI don’t want?

She dies in 2007; mortgafge is $100,000. I’ve ignored summonses from sent to me in the past on behalf of the lender. I’ve received foreclosure notices which I’ve also ignored. I have never expressed an interest in the house, nor have I made any claim to it, thinking they would take the hint and simply take it. My mother did not have a Will. I have just received a subpoena demanding my appearance in stateSsupreme Court (Queens County) next week which I intend on appearing. I just want this over with and I feel I should not be held liable for something I didn’t do.

Asked on October 7, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with an attorney. The short answer is that no one can be forced to accept an inheritance (or gift, for that matter) that they do not want; and if you do not accept it, you are not responsible for its obligations, costs, etc. However, if you did not disclaim the property correctly, you might have been deemed to have accepted it--it's not that you need necessarily to take action to accept it, but rather you need to make sure it's clear you don't want it. You need an attorney to help you understand first whether or not the property is now somehow in your name, and second, what you need to do to make clear that not only do you not want the property now, but you never accepted it in the first place.

A problem is that ignoring legal notices sometimes means you lose automatically (by default); you need help with this.


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