My Mother Passed Away and It Was Devastating. She left a Couple of Homes. – Nancy

“Dear Steve,

I desperately need advice. My mother passed away just over 2 years ago, which was devastating for myself and 3 siblings. She owned a house in america (Florida to be exact), which was in negative equity, none of us were financially able to manage this property and therefore have just left it, which I’m sure was the wrong thing to do.

We are now being approached by american debt collectors requesting for the funds to be paid, for the mortgage, taxes etcs. As far as I know the case has already been to court but the house in american has not been foreclosed.

My mum has left a property in the uk which she has left to us four, the house does have some equity but still some mortgage left and two of my siblings (my sister has 2 children under 4) are living there at the moment.

I wanted to know what our rights were, can they repossess our asset in the UK, which would leave my siblings homeless?


Dear Nancy,

I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother.

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I’m assuming that outside of the house in America, your mum had no other assets in America. Unless she had a will or her estate in America went through probate after her death then the home stops with her. In order to speed things up a bit I would suggest you send the U.S. mortgage company an original copy of her death certificate and explain she has passed. Same with the local tax authority for that property as well.

As far as the home in the UK goes, again, hopefully the home passed in title to your siblings after her death. In that case the bank could always exercise their rights under the terms of the mortgage but as long as the payments were current, I doubt they would do that.

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Hopefully your siblings continued to make the monthly payments on the mortgage and were never late. If they were delinquent on the mortgage I would urge them to get caught up in a hurry. But first, they should have a conversation with the bank to make sure that catching up on payments will allow them to continue the mortgage.

Here is the universal law of mortgages, “You have to pay to stay.”

Delinquent payments can lead to a repossession of the home in the UK.

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

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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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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