What to do about a condemned house that I bought?

UPDATED: Nov 8, 2010

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What to do about a condemned house that I bought?

On 1/6/10 I purchased a home; on 1/17/10 the seller sold the same home with a lease-to-own contract. The house was still being repaired and I hadn’t gotten the keys. Unbeknowst to me, the seller placed a renter in the home. 7 months later, I’ve officially evicted the woman. However, I’ve found out that the house has always been condemned for occupancy. Additionally, the taxes were not paid and the house was appraised by the seller’s friend for more than the house was worth. I signed the deed without looking. The title just cleared on 10/30/10. The house is a wreck! I’m broke. How do I get the bank to take my name off the mortgage and clear my credit?

Asked on November 8, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Ok, giving the house back to the bank is an option to try and avoid a formal foreclosure, which is what I think you think is where you are going.  It is known as a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.  But I think that you may have other options here including recourse against the seller of the house at least for the money it took to evict the tenant.  He or she had no legal right to rent the house at that point from what I can tell from your question. Was the renter the "lease to won" person?  I really think that it would be in your best interest to seek consultation from a really good real estate attorney in your area on this matter.  Good luck. 

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