Foreclosure in Watts>Question Details

Nena, Renter in Watts, Los Angeles, CA

We are tenants currently renting a home which could be about to face foreclosure. We have asked the owners several times to inform us if the house

Asked by Nena, Watts, Los Angeles, CA Tue Oct 19, 2010

will go into foreclosure. How can we go about to find out if the home will go into foreclosure and should i stop paying rent to the landlord?

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Any licensed Realtor or Title Company can provide this information to you for free. The first sign is called a Notice of Default which is filed on the property and the current owner, this is when the current mortgage has not been paid for at least 90 days, you can personally also check this at the county clerk recorders office. This does not mean the property will actually go into foreclosure, it just means the home is past due on the mortgage but it is one strong sign it might potentially go into foreclosure. All the way up to the day of the Auction Date the owner has the ability to bring their mortgage current and pull it out of foreclosure. They also could be trying to modify their current loan payment and if their current mortgage lender approves it and they adhere to those terms in the modification will be able to not have the property foreclosed on. I would definitely recommend finding out right away though, you do not want to continue paying rent to someone that is not paying their mortgage.

Good luck!
Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Usually notices will be mailed to the address of the property to be foreclosed. Since you live there, you will find out about it when you receive the Notice of Default in the mail.

Technically, when a property is being foreclosed but has not gone to sale, the property is still under the name of the current owner - your landlord in this case. Unless your landlord is rent-skimming, you're still required to pay your rent even when the property is under the foreclosure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
Hi Nena,

As others have advised, you should not just stop paying rent, as there are some protections for California tenants caught in a foreclosure. However, if you stop paying rent, you may be subject to eviction and other legal/credit consequesnces.

As far as checking to see if your landlord has had a Notice of Default filed (which is generally the first step when a bank starts the foreclosure proceedings), if you send me the address privately, I can look it up for you.

feel free to e-mail me at
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
Sorry to hear about the situation you are in. Like previously mentioned, you are still legally responsible to pay rent to the owners since that contract is separate from the contract the owners have with the lender. You must abide by the contract unless told otherwise. Your responsibility to make payments has nothing to do with whether or not your landlord is making mortgage payments. As long as the owner has possession of the house, you are obligated to pay. If the property is foreclosed on and the bank owns it, you will still make rental payments, but it will just be to the bank and no longer to the former landlord.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 17, 2010
These are all very good answers. It's important to understand that your tenancy is a legal agreement with the current owner of the property totally separate from his/her agreement with the lender. You still have to honor your part of the bargain and have no legal right to stop payment. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure act will protect you in the event the bank does foreclose. What might be a good idea right now, is to approach your landlord if you are on good terms, and suggest that you upgrade your month to month rental to a lease. You could include a provision in the lease that if the current owner sells the property prior to the expiraton of the lease, you will agree to a 60 day notice to vacate, under certain conditions, provided your deposits are returned, etc. I would also add language that states this clause is not transferrable nor applicable to any owners in succession. That way, the landord can still pursue a short sale to save the property - but in the case of a foreclosure, the bank will have to either honor your lease, or pay you a substantial fee to get out of it. In the City of Los Angeles, the property would be subject to rent control, and the immediate successor in interest, under the current laws would have to pay a guideline amount to relocate you, or honor the terms of your lease. That amount is likely to be over $17,000 at this time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 16, 2010
Hi Nena,
There are laws to protect tenants in the State of California. I recommend you take a look at the Landlord/Tenant Laws on this site Knowledge is power.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 14, 2010
If your landlord is in foreclosure you need to know what your rights are immediately. This will help you to determine what to do next and be advised if your landlord or the bank attempts to illegally or forcibly remove you from the property. You can review these rights here…

Good Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 8, 2010
Check your County recorder's office and ask if there is a notice of default or notice of trustee sale recorded for your property. The contact info for Los Angeles County recorder's office is here

Generally in Los Angeles tenants cannot be evicted by a bank just because your home is foreclosed on. Los Angeles Municipal Code ch. IV, art. 14.1, § 49.92. This is in addition to the protections offered by the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
As long as your landlord owns the property, the rent needs to be paid to your landlord--as for any legal rights you may have, do consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate--as for the property going into foreclosure--you can keep checking with your landlord, or, check local public records department, or, ask any local agent, etc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
Its never a good idea to stop paying your rent without a good reason. And a property that could be "about to face foreclosure" isn't a good enough reason. Check the tax records and see what you can find out. Until the property has a foreclosure sale, the property is still owned by your current landlord.

This is probably a stressful time. But, you do have rights. If you have a valid lease, the bank will more than likely honor your lease. If you're a month to month tenant, you'll have the option of accepting a financial settlement from the bank or you'll have 90 days to vacate.

Please ready my blog…

Best of luck to you! Keep us posted.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 19, 2010
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