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If a seller of property sells property on land contract can they claim it back if they decide not to sell?

Elkins, WV |

My grandparents gave the property to my sister to live on and she lost it in a divorce. The ex-husband sold it on a land contract and the buyers have defaulted almost 3 times. The ex-husband was going to give it back to my sister and let her finish paying for the house if he could get them to move. He hasn't had any luck getting them to move, and they are trashing the house. They make up payments only after they have been served with notices.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. It sounds as if ex-husband sold the land on a payment plan, i.e. took back a mortgage. Hopefully, the promissory note and mortgage were done properly and give him the ability to foreclose. He sold the land and so these buyers have title. Unless and until a foreclosure is instigated and successful, buyers will still have title and be entitled to occupy the property. Ex-husband needs to see an attorney ASAP, and if the circumstances are appropriate, start foreclosure proceedings. Unless and until he gains title back thru foreclosure, he can't give anything to sister, because he has nothing to give. He could assign her his rights in the mortgage, and let her do the foreclosing and gain title.

    To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state (in WV, on inactive status as of 9/13), I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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