If you had an informal (unwritten) agreement concerning the house, you may find your rights are very limited. If you have written evidence of an agreement concerning the property, take the evidence to an attorney familiar with real estate law for help.
Realtors usually know some attorney who can help you.
1. You rented with an option to purchase, but not likely since you have been there six years. This can be fair for both parties, but each party should have an attorney's input BEFORE signing - the situation cam become very nasty.
2. You bought in a conventionial manner, executing a note and deed of trust, and the seller signed a deed, describing, to some extent, the note and liens securing the note. Foreclosure for default is the remedy for the owner of the note. Again, this can be nasty;
3. You bought on a "Contract For Deed." As an attorney, I will not represent a seller on one of these, nor will I represent a buyer who wishes to buy - only to tell him "No way this day or any day." These are VERY NASTY.
The law frowns on this method, especially on the seller. If a buyer is already in this situation, there is a provision whereby he can demand conversion to the deed method (see the code).
BEWARE. By your asking this question, it makes me think you NEVER have talked with a lawyer regarding this property. If that is the case, and if you care about the property and all the money you have spent, RUN, don't walk, to a lawyer!
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Realtors are not allowed to practise law or give any legal advice. The only thing I'm going to suggest is what you've already heard. Get an attorney now! ASAP. Garon Horton, with Commerce Title in Rockwall is one of the most savy real esate attornies in this area. Call and speak with Jamie Jacks about your matter and she will get Garon in touch with you. 972-771-3337. Tell her I recommended them to you and she'll take care of your call promptly. Hope you get the matter resolved in your favor.
The real estate professionals you can rely on
Keller Williams Realty
2951 Ridge Rd. 101
Rockwall, TX 75032
In the State of Ohio with Land Contracts, when you start paying, there is a period within the early years that you can be evicted if you are not making your payments and have not made enough payments; after a certain point thereafter when enough payments have been paid, the remedy is foreclosure. This is Ohio Law. Hopefully, there is a similar law in Texas that will clarify your rights.
Best of luck!
Whose name is the deed in? If it's in your name, you're in a very, very strong position. (You refer to her as "the previous owner," suggesting you're now the owner.)
However, if what you've got is a form of a lease-option or lease-purchase in which the deed remained in her name, then she's not the "previous owner." She's the current owner. And it'll be a lot messier.
But if she sold it to you with owner financing (and you got the deed)--then, as mentioned above, your position should be greatly strengthened. But she could foreclose on you if you've defaulted in your payments, just as any lender can foreclose on someone who's not paying the mortgage.
Provide some additional details on the situation and we may be able to help some more.
But with that amount of money at stake, ultimately you need a lawyer.
Hope that helps.
I'm not sure what you mean when you say the "previous owner of my house". Do you mean you bought the house from the previous owner as a lease-to-own? Or did you purchase it strictly through a mortgage loan/purchase money loan?
If you are saying that you are in a lease-to-own agreement, it depends upon the terms of your agreement but if you've paid all of your payments on time and as agreed then I do not think they can simply take it from you. There are processes for eviction and also you have legal rights and should consult an attorney if this is the type of situation you are in.
Best of luck.
Good luck and hope it all works out!