"Monopoly" Question

I don’t want to hear about any house rules, or anything like that - this is a question about the strict rules of the game Monopoly:

When a player gets eliminated from the game, all their property, and liquidated assets go to the person who they owe money to. The receiver of any mortgaged property turned over must immediately pay the bank 10% interest on those properties.

What if the receiver can’t afford to pay that?

Official rules (which don’t address this):

If the receiver can’t afford to make the interest payment, then he is bankrupt, and out of the game. (IMHO).

According to the rules:

Shouldn’t he be able to mortgage some of his properties – or his inherited properties – to pay off his debt to the bank? Surely their combined sale price back to the bank will exceed 10% of their value… right?

Here’s how I’m reading the rules. To make it simpler, I’ll say we’re playing, and I go bankrupt to you.

I had some mortaged properties which you get. You immediately have to pay the 10%, but you don’t have to unmortage them. If you can mortage other properties and/or sell off buildings and make your payment, cool. If not, you suddenly owe the bank more than you can pay - you’re bankrupt. If anybody’s left in the game, they keep playing. The bank will auction off your properties.

Never seen this before, where driving somebody bankrupt will take you down as well. Very interesting.


I could find nothing in the rules that would prevent this. But the OP is postulating the (probably quite rare) case where both the player going bankrupt and the one receiving the assets have insuffuicient liquidity to handle the required 10% payment due when mortgaged property is transferred.

It seems that common justice should allow the receiving player the alternative of forfeiting a mortgaged property to the bank. But this is not mentioned, so the answer seems clear: the receiving player is bankrupt, and turns over all assets to the bank.

Yeah, I was thinking like, I only own Mediterranean and Baltic, but the guy losing to me has tons of property - ALL mortgaged, and presumably there’s some 3rd player who’s doing well, or it’s hard to see how we’d get to this stage.

I guess what many of you has said is correct - I go bankrupt - to the bank.

Thanks for the responses.

It makes more sense to have the bank foreclose on the bankruptee’s properties until it got the required amount. Or until there were no bankrupted properties left. You’d have the option of mortgaging your own property to keep them, but it’s the bankruptee or his estate who owes the money, not anyone else.

In the official rules of Monopoly, the bank does not “forclose” on any property. Once a player receives that property, it is his until he trades it away or goes bankrupt.

Now then, onto the question at hand. The previous answers are correct, the bankrupting player would become bankrupt. An example:

Let us say that Player A has Boardwalk, Park Place, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Pacific Avenues, all mortgaged. $5 cash on hand. No other assets. Player A is on Boardwalk.

Player B has Oriental, Connecticut, and Vermont Avenues, of which Vermont and Oriental are mortgaged. No cash on hand, no other assets.

Player A rolls double threes, passes go, but lands on the Reading Railroad. Player C owns all the railroads, so Player A pays Player C the $200 for rent on the railroad. Player A rolls again, a four, landing on Connecticut. Player A owes Player B $8 but only has $5.

Player A goes bankrupt to player B, turning over all the properties and the $5.

Now Player B needs to pay at least 10% on the new mortgaged properties. He could pay the full amount (mortgage amount plus 10%) in order to unmortgage them, but he MUST pay 10% now (if he only pays the 10% now, he must pay the total plus 10% whenever he wants to unmortgage them). The total value of the new mortgaged properties is $835. Thus Player B owes the bank $83.5 (my group rounds up, so it would be $84).

Player B only has Player A’s $5 and Connecticut Avenue, which has a mortgage value of only $60. Unless player B can deal with some other players to raise the $84, he then goes bankrupt to the bank. All the properties are immediately auctioned by the bank to the remaining players.

It is important to note that if a debtor cannot raise all the funds he needs by mortgaging property, he’s not allowed to mortgage any of the property before turning it over to the creditor. For example, if someone owns Baltic and Mediterranean and lands on Boardwalk with a hotel (and has no other properties or money), he’s not allowed to mortgage both properties and hand over the mortgaged properties along with $60 and go bankrupt. I think I clarified this by email with Parker Brothers/Hasbro, but I couldn’t find it in their FAQ (and I don’t believe it’s in the rules). Could be wrong I guess.

So, you can’t maliciously mortgage your property to bankrupt your bankruptor on your last turn. What you have to do is set up the mortgages ahead of time. You’d have to be certain that you’ll lose, though, right? Doesn’t mortgaging keep you from collecting rent?

How often is this likely to come up?

I don’t play often, and don’t have the rules in front of me so perhaps this is obvious. But:

In Garfield226’s scenario, does Player B have the option of choosing not to collect the rent from Player A when he lands on Connecticut?

Can player-to-player debts like that be waived, if the owed player desires?

Well, if you’re (almost) certain to lose, say, sitting on Marvin Gardens with the fourth side all hotels and you have no money and low-valued properties with no buildings…

I suppose you could mortgage everything at the end of that turn, but you’d still have a shot. You could land on Community Chest, Chance, or Luxury Tax, and have a decent chance of passing go again. Mortgaging does keep you from collecting rent on that property.

In situations such as the one in my post, what generally happens (in my games at least) is that another player who’s decently well-off offers to buy enough of Player A’s mortgaged properties to give him enough to pay off the debt, thus solving the whole ordeal. If Player A was allowed to go bankrupt and then Player B was found to be going bankrupt, no one would help him, since the properties would immediately be re-auctioned (and probably un-mortgaged, though I don’t know for certain). I don’t recall this ever happening in a real-world game I’ve been involved in.


The rules state:

This rule, though more often used in response to players who actually forget to ask, can be interpreted to mean that if the owner does not wish to collect rent, he or she can simply not ask for it.

Additionally, my group plays that a person can reduce the debt another owes him, if he wishes. This is formalized in the rules by the clause saying that:

For example, if you owe me $300, but I need Tennessee Ave. to complete my Orange monopoly, I can say, “I’ll just take Tennessee and call it even.” You then have the option of giving me Tennessee and calling it even, or paying your $300 some other way. If you accept my offer, officially it amounts to your selling Tennessee to me for $300, and you immediately returning that $300 to me as payment for your debt.

NEW RULE - If you *only * own Mediterranean and Baltic and can force another player to go bankrupt - YOU WIN!

OK, here’s a related question. What if I owe another player more cash than I have on hand, but less than half the value of my unmortgaged properties (ie, less than I could raise by mortgaging them)? If I required to mortgage them to stay in the game, or am I banckrupt unless I choose to mortgage them? Techncally, I suppose it’s moot, since I could always sell the properties to my debtor for less than I need, and then go bankrupt to her anyway, but I assume deliberately loosing (or forfeitting) is unsportsmanlike (and possible unethical if prearanged such that if I know I have very little chance to win I will attempt to loose to you). High-end players who participate in tournaments must have a rule for this–it’s pointless and painful to stay in when you have no source of income besides Go and the random-draw cards.

I believe that technically, you cannot go bankrupt unless you owe more than you can pay. You don’t owe more than you can pay, you just owe more than the cash you have on hand in that situation. When you find yourself in that position (as I have, many times), it would probably be beneficial to start shopping your as-yet-unmortgaged properties to the other opponents. Most times you will find one who thinks the properties would be better off as his instead of the guy who’s bankrupting you.

Also, mortgaging isn’t the worst thing in the world. Keep in mind that one “go” salary can unmortgage any property up to the Oranges, both dark purples or a couple of the light blues (I don’t have the properties right in front of me at the moment so I apologize if my math is off).

So in this case, if there are only 2 players, no one wins?

I’m actually not sure what the rules dictate in this situation. I’ll try to find out.

That scenario is very unlikely though, since by the time enough properties are purchased and mortgaged to bankrupt the second player, there’s enough money in the game to prevent the second player from going bankrupt.

Keep in mind that the most expensive the mortgage fee can get for a single property is $40. If someone owned every property except, say, Mediterranean, and they were all mortgaged and that player went bankrupt to the player holding Mediterranean, the fee would still be less than $300.

Ok, I have some answers. I emailed Hasbro’s customer service department, so here we go:

  1. I asked if we were correct in answering the OPs question. The majority of answers here were correct, the second player would then go bankrupt to the bank.

  2. I asked vanilla’s question, and the official answer is that the second player is declared the winner.

  3. I asked about a one player giving a reduction in debt to a player. The official answer is that you can make a deal involving properties, get out of jail free cards, and/or cash.

  4. I asked about maliciously mortgaging or trading properties to get a little money for them, then going bankrupt to another player. This is officially prohibited.