Q: At a foreclosure, I bought the second lien position and got a trustee’s deed. Unfortunately, I know there is a first and the owner is saying that I can’t get possession because he is current on the first. What can I do?
A: The FORMER owner is wrong. If you bought a home at a trustee’s sale, you are now the owner of the home. It doesn’t matter if you bought the first, second or third lien – you are the owner of the home and you have a superior right of possession over the former owner. The former owner has no ownership rights, but he is still liable on the first mortgage. Additionally, the mortgage stays as a lien on the property until it is paid off. Therefore, you can serve the former owner with a demand for possession and then start the eviction proceedings. This has logical and practical underpinnings – it’s now your house and you need to do something with it, to be able to pay off the first lien. Even though the first lien isn’t in your name, if you fail to pay it, you will lose your new investment.
by Mark B. Zinman, Williams, Zinman & Parham P.C.
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