Profile picture for auntmichele

can you claim a deed if you stopped paying the bank 20 yrs ago and the mortgage was sold?

my brother bought his co-op over 30 years ago. He stopped paying the mortgage abouot 25 yrs ago and the bank never requested payment. He continued to live there, ppaying only his monthly HOA fees.  He wants to sell the co-op. How can he recover hhis shares? If he can't sell in today's market, does he have the option of just walking away or does he have to notify the co-op?
  • September 20 2011 - Brooklyn
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Answers (2)

Dear auntmichele:

It is very strange that your brother stopped paying 25 years ago and the bank never came after him for the money. You need to hire a real estate attorney and do a lein search on the property to see if there is or how much money is currently owed. Whatever that amount is, theoretically you would have to get a letter of satisfaction on that lein in order to close. If the lein is a mortgage, the debt would have to be taken out of the proceeds of the sale and the lein would be satisfied on the spot.

Hopefully whatever you are able to sell the co-op for will be enough to pay off the lein (if there is one) plus have some left over for your brother to walk away with. If when you sell you are not able to sell for a price that would allow you to satisfy the lein, you would have to pay the difference out-of-pocket. If you did not have the funds to do that, you would then have to try and negotiate a "short sale" with the mortgage holder and hope they are willing to accept a lessor amount as payment in full.

Your brother should not walk away because he may have equity in the co-op and if he walks he would be potentially throwing money away! I would suggest you have a professional real estate agent meet with you and/or your brother at the co-op and give you an estimate of it's value. After you do that and the lein search, you will be able to figure out if you can walk away with money when you sell. Most real estate agents including myself will offer such a service free of charge!

If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. good luck!

Sincerely,
Mitchell Feldman
Associate Broker
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
  • September 21 2011
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
Sounds like a good question to take to an attorney.   I suspect the bank has a lien on the property, and the lien would have to be paid off in order to sell (or when selling) - but that is just guessing and not legal advice.

  • September 20 2011
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