Skip to main content

If the bank is not listed as the owner of the property on the deed, is our contract valid?

Portland, OR |

We are purchasing our fist house, which is a foreclosure, however the bank that is selling the house is not listed on the property deed or any title paperwork. All documentations at the county show the previous owner’s information. The offer we made on the house was accepted by the bank last October and five months later we still have not closed. And the county still only has record of the previous owner’s information not the bank that supposedly owns the house. Is the contract we signed to buy this house now valid or not since technically the bank isn’t listed as owner of the property? We have signed extension after extension waiting for them to correct this problem so the bank can legally sell the property to us, but five months later there’s still no end in sight.

Attorney Answers 3


If this was a typical foreclosure a notice of foreclosure should have been published in the local paper and the county recorders office should have a notice of default recorded against the title as well. Speak with the title company handling the sale and review your title report. If that is not helpful, a local real estate attorney can assist you in ascertaining the status of the property. My guess is this is either in Bankruptcy or in the redemption period, or the bank is correcting an error in the foreclosure process. I was involved in a similar situation and that sale did finally go through after 4 or 5 months. In that case the bank miscalculated the redemption period.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


No, the bank can't sell you property that they don't have title to. It sounds like the bank's attempts to foreclose are running into some resistance. How long it might take depends on the nature of the bank's legal mistakes or the owner's ability to get the process delayed. If you don't want to give the bank more time to close, then stop signing extensions.

Licensed in Oregon. Advice provided is general legal information relevant to the facts provided. It is not intended as legal advice applicable to your specific situation. No attorney/client relationship is created unless and until we have met and entered into a written representation agreement. Contact me at 541-250-0542 to discuss your matter further.

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree


This is likely was a "short sale" that turned into a forclosure. They tend to take a long time because the property is a foreclosure. If the owner changed his mind and decided to stay and/or filed bankruptcy, it results in a longer period. The bank has to file a motion for relief from stay in bankruptcy court. Another thing..banks are filing judicial foreclosures in order to avoid the requirement to engage in fruitless mediation with property owners that the legislature is requiring. This is causing delay. So far, only 8 mediations have occurred statewide because banks have filed judicial foreclosures. Owners want to delay things so they ask for a trial. Banks file motions for summary judgment. There is a 180 day redemption period after the bank comes into title. If the bank is doing a judicial foreclosure, you may be looking at a longer delay..

Mark as helpful

3 lawyers agree

Bankruptcy and debt topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics