Most buyers of real estate finance their purchase through a mortgage. When a buyer mortgages a property, the lender will record the mortgage note with the local recording office. The recorded note provides notice to the world that the property is encumbered by a mortgage.
When the loan is paid off, the lender will give the borrower a document called a mortgage satisfaction. A satisfaction is the borrower’s proof that the property is released from the mortgage. The borrower can then sell the property free and clear of the mortgage.
Real estate investors searching for property acquisitions often locate properties with deceased owners. These properties might make a good investment if the property could be legally purchased from the owner. But if the owner is deceased and left no heirs, or the heirs cannot be found, it may not be possible to purchase the property.
These properties are unfortunately sold at a sheriff tax sale when the taxes go unpaid. The potential acquisition may no longer make sense when the investor must bid at the tax auction against many other investors.
Real estate investors often purchase properties that are occupied at the time of purchase. It some cases the investor purchased the property for the rental income and desires rent-paying tenants to remain. But some investors may wish to have the property vacated due to non-paying occupants or to renovate the property. Investors who choose to vacate a property must select the right legal process. Selecting the wrong process wastes time and money and delays the ultimate plans for the property’s use.
Removing an occupant is accomplished through either an “eviction” or an “ejectment” case. Which type of case is the right one? The answer depends on the legal status of the occupant.