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How do I get rid of a 2 family empty house I abbandened 5 years ago that has an unpaid morgage

White Plains, NY |

Went bankrupt 7 mnths ago. still own house I dont want

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Attorney answers 5


Sorry, but you are at the mercy of the mortgage bank. Whenever they get around to foreclosing, they will. The only thing you can do now is call them and tell them that you are willing to sign a "deed in lieu of foreclosure." They should be happy to get this because they won't need to go through the expense of foreclosing. THEY have to draft & mail you the deed, and the record it with the county recorder to get your name off the title. If they don't, you are stuck indefinitely.

Be sure to designate "best answer." If you live in Oregon, you may call me for more detailed advice, 503-650-9662. Please be aware that each answer on this website is based upon the facts, or lack thereof, provided in the question. To be sure you get complete and comprehensive answers, based upon the totality of your situation, contact a local attorney who specializes in the area of law that involves your legal problem. Diane L. Gruber has been practicing law in Oregon for 26 years, specializing in family law, bankruptcy, estate planning and probate. Note: Diane L. Gruber does not represent you until a written fee agreement has been signed by you and Diane L. Gruber, and the fee listed in the agreement has been paid.


I hate to be hate bearer of bad news, but the Courts have ruled that there is no way to force a bank to take back a house. There are cleaver ways to attempt it but there is no guarantee it will be successful.

John M. Crane

John M. Crane


As always, clear, concise and correct. I look forward to seeing you at the CLE!


There is one alternative. You are still the owner. You have the right to appoint a power of attorney and have them manage the property for you. Basically, they rent it out, pay the insurance and maintain the property, and you don't have to worry about violations for non-maintenance. This only works if the home is in liveable condition.

When the bank finally forecloses, the tenants will be evicted, subject to NYS law, and all of this is disclosed to them. They pay a decent rent, so I guess they don't mind. Need more info. Call me at (914) 937-7272.




Presuming you were named as the borrower on the mortgage, your obligation to pay the mortgage was discharged upon the completion of your bankruptcy. The bank's lien, however, remained on the house. Banks today have no interest in taking possession of low-value real estate, which explains why they have not pursued foreclosure. You unfortunately remain as title holder, with all the rights and responsibilities of ownership, excluding the payment of the mortgage. If you want, you can try to sell the house. The buyer would take the property subject to the lien. That might put a few dollars in your pocket and relieve you of ownership headaches. Good luck.

John M. Crane

John M. Crane


But what real estate attorney would recommend to a purchaser that they purchase a home subject to a lien? You could try a short sale, which might expedite things, but as every attorney on this thread as said and to quote Diane, "you are stuck in definitely" if the bank won't move.


As long as title hasn't transferred, you could try to short sale it. That should get the lender's attention. They might just sign off on that just to avoid having to do any work.

The answers to these questions may be different depending on your individual circumstance and should not be considered as legal advice or the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.

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