How can get off the mortgage?

Q: I co-signed on a mortgage and then the borrower passed away. She has kids however, but no will nor estate has been opened. Her kids are fighting over the house. How do I remove myself off the mortgage? What is the process? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: You are in a tough position. You cannot just remove yourself off the mortgage. You signed a document that holds you liable, now that she is deceased. Your options are to pay the mortgage off or somehow talk the lender in to releasing you, which they will not do unless the heirs want to assume or refinance and get on the mortgage. If the deceased person’s name is on the deed, an estate must be opened to sell that house. It is important that her children find an experienced attorney to help them establish an estate, get the house on the market and sell it as soon as possible. This will greatly benefit you as once the house is sold the mortgage will be paid off and you are off the hook. I would consult with an attorney if I were you.

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