Foreclosure Options, losing a land contract to foreclosure
Yesterday I received a panic phone call from a homeowner. Well they thought they were the homeowner. They were buying a home on land contract. They had been in the home four years.
They wrote up a contract they purchased at the local office supply store. It worked for them and they filled in the details of the purchase agreement and settled on a price and monthly payment.
They had not been late once in the last three years. They went to the city and registered the contract with the local registrar of deeds. All was right with their world. The right home, the right price and the kids were doing well in school and had lots of friends. They liked the neighbors too.
One day about 6 months ago a sheet of paper was taped to their front door. It said the property was going to be foreclosed on by the lender of the owner they purchased the property from.
They called the land contract holder and asked what was up. He said he had come on some hard times but was catching up on the payment to the lender on their home, don't worry. Months go by and nothing more is said.
Then a few days ago a neighbor says, "sorry you are losing your home, I thought you guys were buying it?" They asked, "what do you mean?" The neighbor is a clerk that works for an attorney, she was reading the legal news and saw a date where the sheriff's sale on their property had taken place.
The buyers of the home, using a land contract had no idea that the (friend) had never caught up on the mortgage and their home had been sold with a sheriff sale. Now they cannot find the friend. The call to me is a panic call, tomorrow is the end of the redemption period. Michigan has a 6 month right of redemption if your property is under two acres. They have 24 hours. Now they may have more time but regardless they are out the money and down payment of this home.
Here is something to remember.
- If the seller has a mortgage, the 1st. mortgage will take precedence over your land contract.
- Your land contract may not be valid. If the sellers mortgage lender has a due on sale clause, which nearly all mortgages do now, the person you are purchasing from will have to pay off the existing mortgage before selling to you on a land contract. If you try to trick the system and buy under the table...the trick may be on you and the personal damage to you and your family for trying to pull a fast one on the lender is never worth the risk. It might even be considered fraud.
- If the seller from whom you are purchasing, by using a land contract, quits paying the mortgage you are out of luck. The lender (mortgage company will not talk to you or take any mortgage payments, in most cases) because you are not on the note and have no legal standing.
For the clients that called me in a panic....what is their options? I sent them to an attorney. I knew the answer but I don't practice law. I help people buy and sell real estate. The end of the redemption period is tomorrow. The sheriff will show up the following day and move them out, if they were the owners. But they are not the owners....the friend, who wasn't honest with them, has now disappeared, is the owner. They will have 30 days to move, most likely because they have tenant rights. The sheriff can not move their stuff to the curb like they could have if it was the owners and the last day of the redemption period.
We are going to find another home in the same school district. It is a sad lesson.
The real lesson is if you get a foreclosure notice. Call a Professional right away. Don't wait. There are things that can save your home. Sometimes the lender will rework your loan. Sometimes the best option is a short sale. If you are in a land contract and get a foreclosure notice because the seller isn't paying the mortgage, call immediately and we can talk with the seller and get the mortgage put in your name so you don't lose the home.
You have options....waiting, you have no options other people decide the direction of your life.
I hope this gave you enough information to know that waiting is the worst thing you can do. If you need to sell. Call We can discuss your options, if you are not under contract.
If you live in Michigan I have contacts all over Michigan. I can refer you to one of our affiliate brokers to get the professional help you need.
Authorized HUD Broker, Foreclosure & Short Sale Specialist. Click any of the links below or send an email outlining your needs and we will contact you back. Always confidential.
Your HUD and Foreclosure source for Grand Rapids and West Michigan communities.
If you live in the Grand Rapids or the West Michigan area, are not under contract and would like to sell or buy a home....give me a call. It could save you thousands in your next real estate transaction. FlexIt Realty designs selling and buying programs to meet our clients needs. Your call is always confidential and you are never pressured.
"Help is only a Call or Click away!"©2006-2009
Call Toll Free: 877-667-4699 Local: 616-784-2360 Email: garywhite@FlexItRealty.com