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RealEstateAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 27643
Experience:  10+ years in handling Leases, Landlord-Tenant, Foreclosures,Mortgages, and Eviction cases
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Buyer has abandoned property. Need to know actions we can

Customer Question

Buyer has abandoned property. Need to know actions we can take to safeguard it asap.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Can you share with me a little more about what happened? Are you holding the note and they were buying it from you? Do you know where they went?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

my husband's roth ira provided the financing for a duplex investment prop. bought several years ago and buyer stopped making payments. since then we exercised assignment of rents--but failed. he took rents anyway for awhile.

seems that now that both sides are vacant--guessing last week. he says he is giving back house. we have signed reaffirmation of loan saying he pays any shortage of value--i know not normal but it was to prevent him from letting it damage, vandalize, etc.

today--literally he says he is out of town and wil mail keys. says he emailed last week--false. i informed him one side tenant moved out and i think that was when i decided to stop everything.

always trouble communciation.

we are old, live an hour away and don't know if we are to wait for promised keys or not... he has lied so often it is difficult to hope.

biggie is if city inspections has defects we do not want them on us. that is why we did not exercise deed in lieu... we wanted access to learn of condition and any violations. still do...

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. You need to go check and see if both sides are vacant. If they are and you do not want to wait on him sending the keys or think that someone else may have a copy of them and access, you can still change the locks. The goal is to preserve the property and you need to do so, to make sure there is no loss, if it sits idle and vacant. You do want to make them aware of this and advise if anything is left that they need to get it and can contact you if they need access, so there is no appearance of self help and you are trying to kick them out and they left voluntarily and have no intent to return and use it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

tenants are out. it is vacant and i believe has been so for a week. did not know it before.

buyer is absent. we are not permitted any info from city since we are not owners.

are we to hire locksmith and get in and somehow find someone to secure it. i don't think we can.

what are we to tell buyer who refuses communciation except to state he is sending keys and giving it back.

again, taking it back makes us liable for all complaints, citations, etc.

best recommendation for this terrible mess.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

How do you intend to take it back if the owner is not paying you what was agreed to and owed? Do you not need to foreclose their ownership interest?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

we have a deed in lieu and documents stating and signed and notarized saying he accepts any deficit.

he wants us to prepare new papers and he'll just give it back. if we had wanted it back we'd have taken it 10 months ago except for no access abiltiy and fear of city fines and damages beyond our ability to remedy.

only way i know back it file with recorder of deeds??? any other ideas. i have text from him today saying he has abandoned. do you think city attorney might let us have record info with this. that is dilemna if city is sueing we want it to go to him and not us

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

If you want to take it back, the DIL needs to be executed and filed, so ownership passes. Once you take it back, you will need to cure any problems and if he owes you money, needs to pay or else you will have to sue him. You can call a locksmith to try and get in and change the locks BUT you could have a problem if you can not show ownership, so you may need to wait for the documents to be executed or the key to be returned so you can at least enter to assess the situation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

oh... we have an assignment of rents and leases that ought to get us in it just didn't cut it with city inspectors.

once we take back don't we incur all problems?

can you tell me how we start suit against him...he disappears

once we access it and new damages--theft occur is he still liable?

i'll wind this down. thanks.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, once you are the owner, you would need to take care of any issues, repairs , etc. You could sue him for damages and the costs of all this and should make sure he is aware and see if he will agree ahead of time, to pay. If not, then you need to locate where he is and file suit and have him served.

Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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