My friend is "walking away" ; how long do I have?

I rent a room from a homeowner. He informed me today that he has decided to stop making payments. If he’s not making payments how much longer can I expect to live here?

Who is stopping what payments???

I’m pretty sure the home owner is stopping mortgage payments. I have no idea how long it takes to foreclose and evict.

Depends on the bank, depends on the part of the country, depends on the number of vacancies in that area. Some places are sold by the lender right away, and I’ve known a lady who has stayed in her house almost two years without making a mortgage payment.

Answer: Depends.

Mole, if it’s the landlord stopping mortgage payments, you will have months, possibly years before you would get evicted. IANA lawyer, but I suggest you don’t give the landlord any more rent until you’ve consulted one.

Probably not as long as you think. I assume that your landlord will no longer be making utility payments either (unless you’re making those independently), which means that you won’t have electricity, water or sewer service much longer as well. So unless you don’t mind what is essentially a well-sheltered camp site, I’d be looking for new digs.

Are you in a position to make the payments yourself?

Your friend can sign the mortgage over to you. You’ll assume the mortgage and any equity in the house. Potentially that could be several thousand dollars in equity.

That’s happening a lot. People are almost begging someone to assume the loan and take the house. That’s a lot better than defaulting.

You do need to check the loan and see what interest rate it is. Obviously you don’t want to assume a bad loan with a super high interest rate. Also, make sure the propertys value exceeds the principle on the loan. These days some homes are underwater and aren’t worth the loan.

Since Mole is renting a room, I’d guess not. Also, I think that the note holder would have to agree to any sign over. And, assuming the owner is walking away due to loss of value as opposed to solely to perhaps loss of job and ability to make payments, it would most likely be a poor financial decision, to take over payments on a mortgage larger than the home value (although you did specify that there might be some equity, which would make a difference).

He would be seeing the lawyer about the home owner evicting him, not about the foreclosure problem. Just because he landlord has decided to not pay the mortgage, it does not mean a renter can skip out on the rent without repercussions.

Somewhere between 3 and 18 months based on numerous clients who have walked away from mortgages (all in the state of Washington). There is no rhyme or reason to it, either. The one who’s been there longest without making payments tried for a year to get a loan modification and was stone-walled by the bank. Now that he’s making no effort at all, it’s the bank pushing him to modify and he figures he’s so far in the hole that there’s no point in negotiating; when he gets served with eviction, he’ll move out.

I don’t see any reason to assume that the homeowner will stop paying things like utilities; none of my clients who walked away did that. They just wouldn’t/couldn’t pay on a mortgage that was worth more than the house and figured they’d run the clock out rather than move out first

Two scenarios -

1: “Walking away”, making the mortgage holder go after him for payment and generally angling maximum time before he needs to move, it can be months to a year or more if the homeowner decides to drag things out and still makes the utility payments etc., especially in states that have complex and time consuming foreclosure requirements for lien holders.

2: Walking away and telling the mortgage company he’s deliberately defaulting and cooperating with their attempts to foreclose or possibly do a short sale. He could be out in a few months in some states that allow rapid foreclosure and repossession.

Either way you really should be making plans to locate elsewhere.

Assuming loans is a great way to acquire property cheap.

Both my rental units were picked up almost twenty years ago that way. The first one, I was lucky and already knew an older lady wanting a nice place. This guy had lost his job and wanted to move out of state to his family’s home. I gave him(I think) $400 to hire the UHaul moving van. I even helped load boxes on the truck. :smiley: Invested in fresh paint and carpet that I dd myself. Made a few minor repairs and the lady moved in. My profit rolled right back into the mortgage princple. I paid it off early almost seven years ago.

Second property was a similar story except I just assumed his mortgage about twelve years ago. I’ll have it paid off free and clear in another five years.

I’m seriously considering acquiring a third rental next year. I’ve just got to find the right mortgage to pick up at the right interest. All my property is within a mile of my home. Makes any emergency landlord repairs a lot easier.

The OP couldn’t go wrong by grabbing this property if the interest is decent. Get two paying roommates or even three. Sleep in the garage if you have to for awhile. You’re building up value in a home instead of throwing it away on rent.

The only problem with paying his room rent is - can the landlord guarantee that if he pays January’s rent, he will have all of January to enjoy his room? Or does he pay after the month is up? Does he get any compensation for the risk that he may come home one evening to find all his possessions out on the lawn in the rain?

I would suggest he discuss this with his landlord - a fair settlement would be a significantly reduced rent that covers his share of the utilities. Plus, pack everything and live out of boxes. Plus, look for a different place anyway. If it could be 3 months or 33, then what are the odds the landlord will tell you (or know) with sufficient warning when the sheriff will come to toss him out? Do you like surprises? If the landlord is hard up, is there a damage deposit he may never get back?

Stop paying rent and if your lease isn’t already in writing, get it in writing. When the bank assumes the property your lease is still valid and they can’t just throw you out. They will either let it run down or offer you cash to move out. Deposit your normal rent into a bank account and by the time you get booted you’ll have thousands of dollars with which to make your next move.

I’m not a lawyer, but this seems like really bad advice unless you want to leave immediately. You’re probably best off consulting with a lawyer or just getting yourself as ready to move as you can.

You have presumably signed a contract with the current owner. That contract likely terminates if you stop paying him. If you want any chance to continue staying there once the bank assumes ownership, I’d imagine you have to continue paying whoever owns the house. Though, if I’m remembering right, most leases I’ve signed have provisions stating something along the lines that the mortgage holder’s desires trump anything in the lease.

Until the bank re-possesses the house it’s still the current owner’s house while he occupies it, so a tenant (ie the OP) telling him that they intend to squat for free while the owner slugs it out with the bank is not (IMO) a viable strategy as the owner can toss him for non-payment of rent regardless of his current tussle with the mortgage company.

A lot of the landlord-tenant type of laws are applicable to private dwelling, i.e. if you rent an entire apartment or house. Obviously very different rules apply when you just rent a room in someone’s house (and share some common areas like a kitchen). The law is usually much moe abiguous on these situations, and the standard “I have a lease” rules do not necessarily apply.

Except if the principal on the mortgage is more than the market value, which is a common reason people “walk away” these days. This not the housing market of 20 years ago.

Talk to a lawyer - I’ve heard of ways to put the money into an escrow account, so when the time comes, you can prove that you were, in fact, intending to pay, but it’s not your fault the landlord stopped paying.

Not sure…but stop paying rent :slight_smile: