How do you give your house back to the bank without going through foreclosure?

UPDATED: Jun 30, 2015

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How do you give your house back to the bank without going through foreclosure?

Quick claim? How does one avoid tax and personal liability, injury? We have to move for health reasons. We are 64 and 62. We owe $44,000 and that is probably about all the house is worth. We have been here about 22 years. The area has become mostly rentals and properties sit for years, unsold. We cannot rent it because it needs too many repairs. We cannot afford to repair what needs done.

Asked on June 30, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

A tenant has protection under federal law if their rental is foreclosed on. Tenants who have a written lease can continue to occupy the unit until the end of their lease term, or 90 days, whichever is later. The exception being if the new owner intends to occupy the home as their primary residence. In that case, a 90 day notice to move applies. Tenants with a month-to-month lease or no lease at all, must abe given a minimum notice of 90 days to move.

Note: If state law provides more protection than federal law, state law applies.

Additionally, if a foreclosure action has already been filed, so long as the current landlord remains the owner, the tenant must continue to pay rent to them. This is true until title to the property passes at auction, etc. After that the landlord is no longer the legal owner, so the tenant should then be informed where to send their rental payments by the new owner/landlord.

As for the return of any security deposit paid, generally a tenant’s sole legal recourse is to sue their former landlord in small claims court.


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 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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