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Denise Riggs, Renter in Santa Clara, Hayward,...

Whom do i pay in the event our house that we are renting goes to a trustee sale and the person i am aying is not owner of the house

Asked by Denise Riggs, Santa Clara, Hayward, CA Sun Sep 2, 2012

I am renting a house from a mr. perez who keeps telling me different stories about who owns the house.we got a notice of trustee sale taped to our door the other day stating the house owned soley by a laura perez will be sold at auction on the 13th. now we also gave mr. perez 800 deposit. but it is the first and rent is due but i dont know who to pay. do i pay him or wait till the house is possibly sold and talk to the new buyer whether it be the bank or person or whomever . i asked him to give me proof of ownership but he said he isnt going to do that. so Im scared of what can happen next whether he trys to evict me or if he can do anything at all. I dont know what to do any one please help

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Denise,

it is highly unlikely that the owner will get a delay for the Trustee Sale w/ a last minute modification. Do not trust what your landlord says as they are collecting the rent money & obviously haven't paid the mortgage in several months so they will keep trying to collect as long as they can. There should be a phone number on the notice for the company that is doing the Trust Deed sale for the lender & a sale #. Most of them have a recorded line where you can get information about the sale. Call the phone number & enter the sale number if it is a recorded line or talk to the person who answers the phone if it is not a recorded line. That will give you the most up to date information regarding the status of the Trust Deed sale. Now the legal disclaimer.....I am not an attorney & what follows is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact an attorney if you need legal advice. After the Trust Deed sale it is my understanding that you have no further obligations to pay rent to the previous owner as they no longer own the property. If I were in your situation I would not pay rent if I knew that the house was going to Trust Deed sale in less than 2 weeks, especially as many foreclosed landlords fail to return the security deposits. After the sale you will be contacted by either the new owner or an agent representing the lender if the property was not purchased at the Trustee Sale. This is where it gets a little tricky if you have a written lease you will want to definitely consult an attorney. If the lender is the new owner & you don't have a written lease they will offer you what is called "Cash For Keys" where you will be offered money to vacate the home, usually in 30 days. The amount varies per lender but the minimum is usually around $1000 & most are $2000-$3000. There are stipulations such as you have to remove all garbage, the home must be clean, you can't take appliances or other fixtures unless as a tenant you can prove that you purchased them w receipts. You will also have to sign a W-4 & you will be sent a 1099 for what you receive. I have been an REO Broker for several years & this is the standard procedure w/ most lenders. If the home is purchased at the Trust Deed sale by a regular investor they might also offer you cash for keys or offer to enter into a new rental agreement w/ you. As far as your deposit goes you will have to try & get that back from the previous owner. You might have to sue them in Small Claims Court to get it back but they might counter-file for the (13) days of rent. California has very specific laws relating to deposits & there is usually a Small Claims Court Advisor in most counties who can help you in filing a claim. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 3, 2012
James R Gordon is right. I had the same situation where there was an imminent trustee sale and the tenant did not want to pay rent to the defaulting landlord. However upon advice from a real estate attorney the tenant had to to keep paying rent to the landlord or risk being in default. Doesn't sound fair that the landlord is just pocketing all that money, but that's the way it is. Sorry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 1, 2013
Janet did an excellent job of advising you:
There is a lot to take in, and you are worried and overwhelmed.
Our hearts go out to you; you are caught in the middle.

In 2009, our illustrious self-serving President gave us the Tenant's Rights Act of 2009:
You can GOOGLE it and read up.
The two parts that are most important to you are;
If you are a month-to-month renter, you will have the right to stay 30 days after the new owners give you notice; this could be a private person or a Realtor representing the Bank, it doesn't matter. I would that either will offer you cash-for-keys. If it is a Private person, they may want you to stay as their tenant. if it is a Realtor,they will knock on your door 2 to 5 weeks after the Trustee Sale and will negotiate your K-F-K and moving date. They just want you to not trash the place and have a timely move. You won't get the money until after you move.
In regards the current rent money; you might hold on to it, and do not spend it; one way or another you will need it.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 7, 2012
There i no guarante that the property will be sold at trustee sale. The owner may work out a loan modification, the property may be allowed to go to short sale.
Do what you need to do but until there is a new owner of the property your legal contract is with the current owner.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 2, 2012
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