What forms are needed for an owner financing of a home?
One of the most common methods of seller financing is a contract for deed, or land contract, which is often used as an alternative means of financing the purchase price of property. The buyer does not receive an actual deed until payments are made under the terms of the contract for deed agreement. Until the buyer receives a deed, ownership isn't transferred and the property is subject to being foreclosed on if the mortgagee/owner defaults on the mortgage. The responsibility for payment for the property is a separate issue from the ownership of the property.
If there is a mortgage on the property, the contract may violate a due-on-sale clause in the mortgage which the lender may or may not seek to enforce. Most lenders require that the mortgage or deed of trust contain a due on sale clause. This is an acceleration clause in a loan, calling for payment of the entire principal balance in full, triggered by the transfer or sale of a property. Such a clause permits a secured mortgage lender (federal, state or private) to call the entire unpaid loan balance due and payable immediately if the property securing the loan is sold, transferred, traded, gifted or otherwise disposed of without the lender’s prior written consent.
If the home is foreclosed on, the buyer may lose investment payments that are made and then the buyer loses the home.
A promissory note may be secured or unsecured. When it is secured, it means that property, called collateral, may be taken by the lender if the borrower fails to pay the loan payment. If the debtor files bankruptcy, the lender may be able to recover the value of the loan by taking possession of the specified collateral instead of receiving only a portion of the borrowers property after it is divided among all creditors. Collateral may be many different types of property, such as shares of stock of a company, inventory, accounts receivable, etc.
A promissory note may provide for payments to be made in installments or in a lump sum. The terms may provide for a series of smaller payments at the beginning of the loan period and a larger balloon payment at the end of the loan period. The option for a confessed judgment agreement, also called a cognovit note, may also be included. A confessed judgment agreement requires the debtor not to claim defenses and agree to have a judgment entered against him if he fails to pay and the matter is taken to court.
There are various ways to structure a business transaction involving real estate. The best structure will depend on the individual circumstances in each case, such as whether the property has a mortgage or other liens, who will be named on the deed, and other considerations. I am prohibited from giving legal advice. I suggest contacting a local attorney who can review all the facts and documents involved.