What happens in probate when the deceased left a mortgage debt?

On Behalf of | Sep 26, 2022 | Trust And Probate Litigation

When a loved one dies in California, their estate must be taken care of. This can include their home, which may have a mortgage on it. If this is the case, it’s important for you to understand the process of handling the mortgage during the probate process.

Contacting the lender

The executor of the estate contacts the lender to let them know of the borrower’s death. The executor will also need to provide the lender with a copy of the death certificate. The lender will then work with the estate to determine what options are available. For instance, they may assume the mortgage. This means that the estate will take over the payments and become responsible for the debt.

Selling the property

If the estate doesn’t want to or can’t assume the mortgage, they may opt to sell the property. In this case, the proceeds from the sale will go towards paying off the debt. Any remaining balance will be paid to the estate as part of the estate administration and probate process.


If the estate is unable to sell the property or make the payments, the lender may opt for foreclosure. This means that they will take ownership of the property and sell it in order to recoup their losses. The estate will not receive any money from the sale as it will go towards paying off the mortgage debt.

Transferring the title

In some cases, the estate may be able to transfer the title of the property to another party. This is often done if the borrower has co-signed on the mortgage with someone else. In this case, the other party will become responsible for making the payments and will assume ownership of the property.

A mortgage is a form of debt that needs to be paid off, even after the borrower’s death. The executor of the estate will need to work with the lender in order to determine the best course of action.