How doI get out of a house contract for deed?

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How doI get out of a house contract for deed?

I am buying a house – contract for deed. Now I want out of the contract. I have done nothing but improve the property but would prefer to move. What does this mean for me as the buyer? The contract reads. “If the Buyers shall make default in payment of any of the installments on the purchase price and if the default continues for a period of 60 days or if the buyers shall be late in making payments more than 6 times in 12 months, then the seller has the right to declare all further installments immediately due and payable and to retake possession of said premises and to retain any and all sums paid hereunder as liquidated damages as rental for said premises”. What does this mean for me, would I be responsible for the remaining balance?

Asked on December 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You have basically entered into a rental agreement with your payments going toward the purchase of the house.  It is very difficult to guide anyone in these circumstances without reading the entire contract.  However, from that portion that you have listed here then it appears that yes, you would still be in the hook for payments.  The part that starts with "then the seller has the right to declare all further installments immediately due" is the clue here.  But I have to tell you that it sounds like a one sided agreement and I would take it to someone to read for you to help you out of it, if possible.  Good luck.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The language you quote means that if you default as defined--

1) The seller can take the house back

2) The seller can keep all sums paid as damages for the *rental* of the property--i.e. they will not be applied as installments on the purchase price of the home

3) Anything else you owe under the contract (you need to reference the balance or rest of the contract to see what that might be) will be due and owing immediately--which means that the seller  could immediately sue you for anything you owe under the contract.

In terms of getting out of the contract: if there was no fraud in forming it; if the seller has not breached any material (key or important terms); and if there is no clause in the contract itself allowing you out, then there is no way to get out of the contract.


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