Renters in a foreclosed home, what is our landlord doing?

Asked by Jewel, Minnesota Sat May 9, 2009

We recently were served with paperwork that our landlord didn't pay the mortgage and the home is going to the sheriff sale in May. She told me it was no big deal as she was trying to get the bank to lower the interest rates and terms on her mortgage and that she was working with an attorney who advised her to do this.
I suggested a price we were willing to offer as a short sale, but she told me the realtor said she didn't have to accept that.
So now it has been on the market for almost two weeks, no sign, no lockbox and we have to move out.
Can anyone shed light on what might be happening? It just doesn't make sense.
And, should we be paying anymore rent to her? I paid May rent and she says I don't have to pay June. Or does the bank own it. The listing says bank owned. I'm so confused. I would just like to try and figure out what could possibly be happening as she is not acting like a motivated seller.

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Patrick Howa…, Agent, Edina, MN
Tue May 12, 2009
Hi Jewel,

I'm sorry to hear about your situtation. Since you're in Minnesota I would recommend that you contact the Minnesota Home Ownership Center. Check out their website at Even though you aren't the home owner, you're involved in the foreclosure process and they have people who can advise you of what you're options are at no cost to you.
Best wishes to you.
1 vote
Jason Sandqu…, , Minneapolis, MN
Sat May 9, 2009
In Minnesota, after the sheriff's sale the mortgagor (your landlord in this instance) has 6 months to cure the entire default (what is left on the mortgage to be paid). These situations vary from case to case almost none are the same.

Are you sure the listing says "subject to third party approval" instead of bank owned? If the sheriff's sale hasn't occurred yet, then I find it hard to believe it is bank owned?

If you seek advice on what to do, please contact an attorney. No real estate agent in this forum should be giving legal advice for we are not attorney's.
1 vote
Patti Ann Ka…, Agent, Coon Rapids, MN
Tue May 19, 2009
Minnesota Homeline has a whole section on this problem...

If the property is going through a Sherriff's Sale in May, the Seller will generally have at least 6 months to redeem the mortgage and you can stay in your home during that time. It can be as little as 5 weeks if the property is abandoned or as much as 12 months under some circumstances (primarily acerage and land used for agriculture).

Your lease is still in effect and yes, you still have to pay your rent. You do not have to move out just because the property is listed on the market. However, if you lease has or will expire soon, your landlord may not wish to renew it.

As far as offering to purchase the home, chances are that your landlord owes much more on the property than it is worth and they do not have to accept your offer. In fact, any offer has to be approved by the lender in a short sale.

This will not become a bank owned property until the end of the redemption period and your landlord still owns the property. If your landlord is trying to get some sort of mortgage modification, then she may not be motivated to sell.
0 votes
Aaron Dickin…, Agent, Champlin, MN
Sat May 9, 2009
The listing agent would be your best option. The MLS in the Twin Cities just added new fields for bank owned, short sale and in foreclosure and some of these fields are not always accurate at this point so it isn't a sure thing that it is bank owned.

Sounds like a short sale to me.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat May 9, 2009

Your most reliable sourse for accurate information may be the listing agent. Since this property seems to be in transition it's possible that you could still be speaking with the owners agent as opposed to the banks's representative.

A first step may be to find out who the agent represents, the bank or the owner. If the MLS information indicated the property is "bank owned" it would be fair to assume this to be accurate. It is best to varify this and proceed from there. They will be able to best advise you.

Good luck
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