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Marsha411JD, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 20363
Experience:  Licensed Attorney with 29 yrs. experience with Real Estate
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I have been living in a home since last October. The owner

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I have been living in a home since last October. The owner had just bought the house at an auction for 5000.00 and was repairing it when we moved in. In January an officer of the court served us papers of some kind of foreclosure with the name on it of the previous owner (Not the lady that purchased the home at the auction due to unpaid asssociation fees) but the guy that owned the house before her. She assured me not to worry and toss the papers. Last week i was served the papers again. My question is if someone purchases a home at an auction is it possible that the house can still be foreclosed on? I am worried that i will be kicked out, I have 2 small children. How can i find out definitively if the house is under any danger and this lawsiut has merit?


Thank you for the information and your question. First, just to be clear about what your landlord got when she purchased the house from the HOA who had foreclosed for unpaid association fees, she got the house subject to any mortgages that were on the house. In other words, the title was clouded by these mortgages. So, she will have to settle those mortgages before she will own the property completely. However, if you want to make sure you have the complete picture, you will want to contact the mortgage holder or their law firm that would be on the papers you received.

As for you being kicked out. There is a Federal law called Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure, which states that as long as you are a bona fide tenant (meaning you are paying rent to a landlord that you are not related to), then you have a certain amount of protection from eviction. Under the law, if the property is foreclosed on by a mortgage lender and there is a sale of that property after foreclosure, then the tenant has the right to stay to the end of their written lease period unless the person purchasing the property is going to use it as their primary residence. If they will use it as a primary residence, then the tenant will have 90 days to move from the unit after recieving notice of the owner's purchase and intention. If there is no written lease, then the tenant still gets at least 90 days to move.

You can see more about the Act, at:

So, no one can come one day and force you out. They have to use the process and your legal position is this Act.

Please let me know if you need any clarification. I would be glad to assist you further if I can.

Marsha411JD and 3 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I tried to contact the law office and they informed me that since i am not the defendant they cannot offer me any information. And when i ask the landlord she simply says dont worry about it. Is there a specific way for me to find out if the house has a clouded mortgage? She is listed as the owner in the clerk of court docs but the law office assures me that the lawsuit has merit. is there something in the court docs i can see? Any way to find out? Anything you can help me with would be greatly appreciated. I understand i have rights but its very hard to come up with deposits and cost of moving in just a couple months. Thanks!

Hello again and thank you for the reply. Other than speaking to the law firm for the plaintiff, and looking a public records there isn't a lot you can do other than to hire an attorney to do a title check, which you really need not do. The long and short of it, is that you have the rights that I described and no one can take those away from you. It is required that lenders serve tenants with foreclosure paperwork only as a matter of notice, and not because the tenant is a defendant or because they are going to be forced out of the house immediately.

Since you are not a party to this process, all you can do, unless you have a month to month lease and want to leave before you are served notice of the foreclosure, is to wait and be forearmed with the knowledge that you have the law on your side.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok last question i promise! When looking at public records what exactly am i looking for to see who the actual owner is? When i call the law office is there a specific question that i can ask to get the info that i need. Again thanks for your help i really appreciate it

Well, that is why I said you need an attorney to do a title opinion. This is not something that a layman can do. It takes a lot of training and the clerks won't do this for you. If there is a mortgage that is unpaid, which I am sure there is if the HOA dues were unpaid, then there is going to be a foreclosure. So, I really think you would be wasting your time and money to hire someone to do this. There is no doubt that the filing is proper.

What you might want to keep in mind is that these processes take a very long time in most cases. Also, once the property is foreclosed on, and there is a deficit, then your landlord can buy the house from the mortgage company. So, you may be worrying about nothing that will directly affect you in the end. But there really is no way for you to know with certainty, since you are not a party to these proceedings. Again though, worst case scenario you have to the end of your written lease, or 90 days after someone other than your landlord might buy this property to live in. This could be a few years from now.