If I have fallen behind in my payments on a land sale contract, willI be given a chance to catch up or willI just lose the property?

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If I have fallen behind in my payments on a land sale contract, willI be given a chance to catch up or willI just lose the property?

I am purchasing land from a private owner and have fallen behind 2 weeks on my payment due to a recent hospital stay. He has threatened to repossess the land if it is not paid soon. The contract I signed simply says that if I am 5 days late there is an extra fee but it does not say anything about what will happen if I am behind more than this. Can he just come in and take the land or does he have to give written notice and some time for me to get the payment caught up?

Asked on July 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In your purchase contract with the former land owner, I presume he agreed to "carry back" the purchase amount as a loan to you as part of the deal?

If he did, was there a promissory note and a mortgage recorded on the property sold/purchased  and placed as security? If so, the terms of the promissory note and mortgage would control over the terms of the purchase agreement.

If you can make the late payment and pay the late fee due to delay as a result of your hospital stay, do so as soon as possible so you are current on your payments. Did you explain the reason for the late payment to the former owner? If you did and he still is taking a hard line approach with you, be extra careful in the future in making your payments to him on time.

If the former owner wants to foreclose upon the property due to a payment not being made by you, most States in theis country have laws that allow the current property owner to cure the problem by making the payment(s) and any accrued interest/penalities so the property would not be lost.

The former property owner would have to go through a notice process to foreclose upon his loan. He cannot just come in and take possession of his former land from you.

Good luck.


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