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An assumable mortgage is one which lets a buyer take over the existing loan of a seller. Assumable mortgages require the lender’s approval. The person who assumes a mortgage takes the same interest rate and monthly payment schedule as the original loan, which can result in big savings if the interest rate on the existing mortgage is lower than the current rate on new loans. However, the lender can change the loan’s terms. The person assuming a mortgage still needs to qualify for the loan and pay closing fees, including the costs of the appraisal and title insurance.
The lender also holds the seller liable for the loan. For example, if the person assumnig the mortgage defaults on payments and the lender forecloses, but the property sells for less than the loan’s balance, the lender can sue the seller for the difference.