We are purchasing our home through land contract and this July will be five years we've owned the home. We are behind two mortgage payments, but have made a payment monthly, we are just unable to catch up. I wrote a note to the landlord to let him know that we would be able to make a double payment this month, unfortunatley an issue arised that only allowed us to make a single payment. He then sent me a letter stateing that I would have to make a complete payment of July's mortgage and the two months we are behind, otherwise he will go forward with the process of having us removed. Does he legally have the right to do that if we've been making monthly payments, but are still struggling to catch up on the two months we are behind? I live in Dayton, Ohio.
Construction / Development Lawyer
I agree with my colleague, yes, if you are behind you can lose your home, just like someone who is behind on their mortgage payment. There are two types of removal, essentially eviction and foreclosure. The tipping point is outlined in the statute I included below. If you have complied with the terms of the land contract for 5 years or more from the first payment OR have paid more than 20% of the purchase price the seller must foreclose to remove you, just like the mortgage lender. On the other hand if you haven't met either of those measures, you can be evicted (we know that you haven't been in for 5 years complying with the agreement because you are just in the house for 5 years now and are in arrears in your payments--the question is, how much have you paid on the principal).
I know that you are short on cash, otherwise you would bring your contract current. Having said that, you should contact an attorney. Consider contacting Legal Aid or a local law school (law schools often have legal clinics where third year law students "practice law" under the supervision of a professor. It is usually, if not always free, so a bonus for you and gives them real world experience. Good luck.
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Yes, if you are behind in your payments, the owner has the right to begin the legal process to have you removed.
I am licensed in the State of Ohio, posting a response to your question or issue does not create an attorney-client relationship and I AM NOT providing you legal advice.
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