Q: My son purchased a condo in August, 2008. He paid $240,000 and put down 20 percent in cash. Similar properties are now selling for about $200,000.

My son passed away in June leaving no will. After a period of 60 days, our county court signed over the title to me and my husband. The condo is rented out and we are making the mortgage payments.

What are our options for putting the mortgage in our name without refinancing since we would have to put money into it to avoid paying mortgage insurance?

A: My condolences on the loss of your son.

Since you inherited the property from your son and since you’re family, the lender may not have the right to call the loan in – that is to require you to pay back the loan. You may not need to do anything more than keep paying the loan and stay current. In some family situations when there is a death in the family, lenders may be required to allow the surviving members to keep the existing loan.

While you may want to have the loan in your name, you may not need to change anything to benefit from his loan. Talk to a real estate attorney in your area to determine what your next step should be. At this point, having the loan in your son’s name may be better for you, particularly if the property is worth less than what is owed on the mortgage.

Given the current real estate market, the last thing another lender needs is a property owner that stops paying on another property and another possible foreclosure.

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