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Old 06-27-2022, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Michigan
762 posts, read 2,155,927 times
Reputation: 844

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I am selling a house on a land contract. The buyer has fallen behind on house payments and tax payments. The balloon payment is past due. The buyer has been unable to find other financing. I was willing to let the buyer keep making payments, and not ask for the balloon payment, but the buyer has not kept up.

I am debating whether to start forfeiture proceedings or just sell my interest to an investor and let them deal with the forfeiture.

If you have dealt with taking back a land contract property using the forfeiture process, how did that go? How much did it cost? Do I need to use a lawyer for that? My case would be simple on its merits, but I'm afraid of making some procedural error if I do it without a lawyer. It's also complicated because I now live in a different county.

I would prefer to work out a cash-for-keys deal with the buyer, rather than spend money on legal fees, but I need to assess my options.
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Old 06-28-2022, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Michigan
2,664 posts, read 2,449,579 times
Reputation: 6352
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuebor View Post
I am selling a house on a land contract. The buyer has fallen behind on house payments and tax payments. The balloon payment is past due. The buyer has been unable to find other financing. I was willing to let the buyer keep making payments, and not ask for the balloon payment, but the buyer has not kept up.

I am debating whether to start forfeiture proceedings or just sell my interest to an investor and let them deal with the forfeiture.

If you have dealt with taking back a land contract property using the forfeiture process, how did that go? How much did it cost? Do I need to use a lawyer for that? My case would be simple on its merits, but I'm afraid of making some procedural error if I do it without a lawyer. It's also complicated because I now live in a different county.

I would prefer to work out a cash-for-keys deal with the buyer, rather than spend money on legal fees, but I need to assess my options.

Check with the treasurers office in the county that the house is located in. They may be able to tell you how to handle it. Likely, it would be best to do so through a lawyer.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:11 PM
 
8,301 posts, read 11,006,633 times
Reputation: 15734
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuebor View Post
I would prefer to work out a cash-for-keys deal with the buyer, rather than spend money on legal fees, but I need to assess my options.
You'll likely need to retain a good real estate lawyer, but try to do this first. If they are agreeable to a "cash-for-keys" deal, have them give you a Quit Claim Deed for their interest. If nothing has been recorded about the Land Contract, you may not need to record the Quit Claim Deed but it would be good to have it in your possession just in case.
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Old 08-15-2022, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Michigan
762 posts, read 2,155,927 times
Reputation: 844
Since I'm just asking to take back the property and not seeking a monetary judgment, and I expect the buyer to sell the place and pay me off from the proceeds of the sale before an eviction can take place, I decided to try the DIY route. I'll post updates to let people know how it goes.

Step 1: 15-day notice.
Step 2: Complaint and summons.
Setp 3: Court date.
Step 4: 90- or 180-day redemption period (90 in my case)
Step 5: Eviction.

I have completed steps 1 and 2 and am now waiting to hear when my court date will be and hoping that the process server can successfully serve the summons on the buyer.

Overview of land contract forfeiture

The above overview doesn't go into the details of how to file the appropriate documents. The court websites offer links to pdf files of the necessary forms (dc100, dc103, dc104), but don't offer much guidance in how to fill them out and submit them. The district court websites for Lansing and Flint offer the clearest instructions, but I would also recommend obtaining the forms and then talking to the court clerks on the phone or in person to find out what is required (how many copies, whether anything has to be notarized, originals vs. copies, return envelopes, filing fee, etc.) and submitting the documents in person so that the clerk can look over the forms and tell you if you have everything. The clerks can't advise you on the law but they can advise you on this merely administrative stuff.
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