Notified in March 2012 about foreclosure, asked not to pay rent just water and HOA. Total $200/ month. Been paying that since march. Now wells Fargo lawyer wants lease, proof of payments, all that stuff. What do we do? We would like time to move... Knew it was too good to be true.
It is not possible to ascertain whether you have a bona fide lease without reviewing it, and without more facts. Factors which are indicia of a bona fide lease include paying the fair market rental value, and of course, actually making the rent payments.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA), part of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-22, approved May 20, 2009), requires that tenants residing in foreclosed residential properties be provided notice to vacate at least 90 days in advance of the date by which the immediate successor, generally, the purchaser, seeks to have the tenants vacate the property. Except where the purchaser will occupy the property as the purchaser's primary residence, the terms of any bona fide lease also remain in effect.
You can probably negotiate a cash for keys deal wherein you agree to move out by a date certain in exchange for some cash. This would obviate the necessity for an unlawful detainer lawsuit, which would be where a judge would have to decide whether or not you have a bona fide lease.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
Other factors that have to be considered in making that determination is whether or not you are related to the previous owner. The lease is being requested by wells fargo as a method of determining whether you are a tenant, which dictates the notice period of the soon to be appearing notice to quit. Wells Fargo doesn't care about the payments that have or have not been made, they're attempting to determine whether they have a tenant on their hands. Frank is correct, especially with wells fargo, they often offer cash for keys. Keep in mind though, the more time you ask for the less cash they're willing to offer.
A proper response would require a thorough investigation into the history and background of this relationship. The information provided above is just that, information, to be used as you see fit.
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