How to Evict a Purchaser of an Owner-Financed Home for Not Paying

Eviction involves more than simply changing the locks on the doors.

Eviction involves more than simply changing the locks on the doors.

Evicting someone from a house for overdue mortgage payments requires following the letter of federal and state laws. If you fail to meet formal regulations, the legal process resets to Day One for you to start the process again. Laws protect the borrower from arbitrary eviction under the mortgage contract, but the regulations also protect the owner by providing a guideline by which to remove a borrower for nonpayment.

Notify your borrower of the missing mortgage payment by certified letter. Include the payment amount and original due date. Date your letter and state the date by which the missing payment must be made to avoid foreclosure. List any late fees due and the method for bringing the loan current. If you want payment by certified check, for example, include that demand in the letter.

Determine if foreclosures and evictions in your state require nonjudicial actions or court-ordered actions. A judicial foreclosure is pursued through the court system. Nonjudicial actions don't require official court approval, but do require filing your actions with the courts. The website of the attorney general's office for your state may provide this information.

File a notice of delinquency with the court in the county where the house is located. To file this notice, the borrower must be at least several months late in payments, but the exact number of late payments varies by state.

File a notice of default and record the document with the court in the county where the property is located. The time between the delinquency and default filing vary by state, but both must be filed to foreclose and evict.

Mail a copy of the notice of default to the borrower using certified or registered mail. If your loan lists multiple borrowers, each must be provided an official notice of default.

Complete an unlawful detainer notice and file the document with the court. Some states require a court hearing for the eviction. If so, attend the hearing and obtain the official judgment.

Deliver a copy of the official unlawful detainer notice to the borrowers or hire an official processor to serve the notice.

Wait for the court to officially post the lockout order on the property or tape the order securely to the front door and garage of the house in states allowing the lender to self-post the document. This order gives the borrower a set number of days, typically less than a week, to move out of the property.

Check the property at the end of the lockout grace period and return with local law enforcement officers to change the locks on all doors of the house.

Collect any personal belongings left in the house and box the items. Some states require you to store the goods for a certain period before disposing of anything. The borrower in those states must repay any reasonable storage and transportation fees for the goods when requesting return of the items.

Items you will need

  • Copy of mortgage loan agreement

About the Author

*I have written chapters and articles for Oxford and Harvard University Presses, ABC-CLIO, and others. Arcadia Press published two of my local history texts and I have also written for numerous "article sites," including Pagewise in 2002. My "How to become a...real estate agent" is available as an online text from a Canadian publisher. *I taught writing courses at a branch campus of Indiana University. *I held a California real estate license and have remodeled four of my own homes and advised others on financing homes, repairing credit to qualify for loans, and managing construction (including meeting local, state, and federal regulations for restoration and development grants). *I served as an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer and wrote nearly $75,000 in small education grants (under $1,000). *My travels include frequent road trips in Canada, Mexico, U.S., and Europe. I attended school at Cambridge University and used this as a base to explore the UK and Europe.

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