If my landlord has defaulted on their mortgage, how can I stay in my home?

UPDATED: Feb 11, 2011

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If my landlord has defaulted on their mortgage, how can I stay in my home?

The landlord has defaulted and the property is going into foreclosure. Is there any way that I can simply take over his monthly mtg. payments or work out some kind of agreement with the mortgage company?

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Federal law gives some rights and protection to a tenant in the event that their rental unit is foreclosed upon. The “Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act” requires that when a home goes into foreclosure, tenants who have a written lease can continue to occupy the home until the end of the lease period, or 90 days, whichever is longer. The only exception would be if the new owner intends to move in and occupy the home as their primary residence. In that case, a 90 day notice to move would apply. Those tenants with a month-to-month lease, or no lease at all, have to be given at least 90 days notice to move. Additionally, in cases where state law provides more protection than the federal law, state law applies.

You should be aware however, even after a foreclosure action is filed, as long as your landlord remains the owner of record, you must still pay rent to them.  Just be careful to find out just when title to the property passes at auction or otherwise. Former landlords have been known to try and continue to collect rent even after they no longer own the property. As a lawful occupant of a property in foreclosure, a tenant should be notified by the mortgage lender as to the sale/transfer date of the property and where to send their rental payments.

As for taking over the mortgage payments, this won'tt be allowed.  If you are in a position to purchase the property you can submit a bid at the auction.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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