My Mother Took Advantage of My Credit When I Was 21. – Kiera

“Dear Steve,

4 years ago my mother decided to buy a house, her credit would not allow her to purchase the house. She was recommended by the realtor to try someone else, her kids. I was asked. I declined. The realtor encouraged me to do this and stated in 6 mos it would be placed in my mother’s name. I did.. a few days later I met my mother at an office, for the first time I met the lawyer, homeowner and the realtor. While they addressed my mother about everything, I signed the papers. I was not aware of what I was getting myself into.

Two hours away in college, I would constantly ask my mother about the initial plan. But she stated her credit was still not good enough. Finally, last year she decided to sell the house. No one is willing to purchase it. She recently signed for a short sell to expedite the process.

Recently, I contacted Wells Fargo after receiving numerous letters in the mail regarding mortgage assistance. For the last two years my mother has been late on every payment, she has had multiple checks go back and several times she has been 3 mos and once 6 mos behind on the payments. I asked about refinancing, that is not an option. They also stated, it may go into foreclosure so on. That same day I also checked my credit score and it is horrible.

What are my options? What can be done? Everyone at that table allowed this to take place, to take advantage of an innocent person. Can they be held responsible for allowing this? What about the realtor, she encouraged this? My mother realizes what she did was a huge mistake and is willing to do what it takes to reverse this, can the debt be transferred into her name? What needs to be done to get this off of my credit and out of my name? Is that possible?

I was encouraged to just wait until the house sells or just foreclose?

I don’t want to move to fast. What should I do?


Dear Kiera,

I’m afraid that unless you were not of sound mind and/or younger than 18 that you were competent to enter into a binding agreement.

Just because someone qualifies you for a loan does not mean it is affordable for you. It just means they are willing to take the risk.

While the lender and relator encouraged you to enter into this transaction, so did your mother. And it sounds like you willingly went along with it and volunteered to enter into the agreement.

All that being said, you should always feel free to contact a local consumer attorney in the state the house is located in to see if there is something I missed. One place to find such an attorney is NACA.net.

So at this point it sounds like you are on the hook for the mortgage. My concern is that if the home sells for less than you owe on the house or it goes to foreclosure, unless you live in a no recourse state, you may be stuck paying any balance still due after the short sale or foreclosure.

The elimination of the a deficiency owed can be negotiated as part of the short sale. So you should be a part of that process to make sure you don’t dig yourself in deeper.

If the house is located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Washington, I believe those are the current no-recourse states where the lender can’t come back after you. Again, check with an attorney licensed in the state where the house is located.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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