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Home > Reader Questions > Will I Be Responsible for the Mortgage When My Husband Dies? – Barbara

Will I Be Responsible for the Mortgage When My Husband Dies? – Barbara

My husband and I are in our late 50s and live in Florida. He gave up his home in a divorce settlement and then bought it back from his x-wife a few years later, before we married in 2009. The home remains in his name only, it is right side up, and he wants the home to revert back to his family members if he should pass. Although I would be allowed to stay in the home until I die, I could not afford the mortgage, taxes, and insurance so it is not an option. (His family members could not afford it either.) His health problems prevent him from qualifying for life insurance so I will get nothing in the event of his death, but I do have my retirement and I would relocate closer to family in Tennessee.

Could I be held accountable for the mortgage if my husband passed away, even though my name is not on the mortgage?

Barbara

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  • Barbara Alleman-Basel

    That does help tremendously. I guess I didn’t make it clear that he was single when he bought the house so my name is in no way attached to it.

  • Lewis Roberts

    Many people confuse mortgage with the promissory note. They are two separate documents. The note is the promise to pay back the borrowed money. The mortgage is the document that puts the home up as collateral for the loan.

    As long as you did not sign the promissory note, then you cannot be held responsible for paying it back. If no one can pay the mortgage in the future (a LONG time from now when you husband passes ;-)), then the bank’s only recourse is to foreclose on the home.

    Again, if you did not sign the note, then you are not liable.

    One last item, Florida has homestead rights for spouses, so depending on when your husband took out the mortgage, you might have been required to sign the mortgage, but not necessarily the note. Make sure you look at both documents.

    But again, the note is the document to be concerned with.

    I could not tell by the post, but did your husband take out this mortgage BEFORE you were married? If so, you are probably not on either document.

    I hope this helps.

  • Lewis Roberts

    Many people confuse mortgage with the promissory note. They are two separate documents. The note is the promise to pay back the borrowed money. The mortgage is the document that puts the home up as collateral for the loan.

    As long as you did not sign the promissory note, then you cannot be held responsible for paying it back. If no one can pay the mortgage in the future (a LONG time from now when you husband passes ;-)), then the bank’s only recourse is to foreclose on the home.

    Again, if you did not sign the note, then you are not liable.

    One last item, Florida has homestead rights for spouses, so depending on when your husband took out the mortgage, you might have been required to sign the mortgage, but not necessarily the note. Make sure you look at both documents.

    But again, the note is the document to be concerned with.

    I could not tell by the post, but did your husband take out this mortgage BEFORE you were married? If so, you are probably not on either document.

    I hope this helps.

    • Barbara Alleman-Basel

      That does help tremendously. I guess I didn’t make it clear that he was single when he bought the house so my name is in no way attached to it.

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