Q: My fiance and I are trying to assume her parents property in AZ. We live in WA and not sure how the process would work.
We dont want to go through an agent. Just wanna refinance their current mortgage to have our names on it.
A: You have described what amounts to a purchase of a home. A purchase contract is needed and I recommend that an escrow be opened with a local title company to handle the transfer. Then you would apply for a new loan to pay off the existing financing on this property. Your lender will also want the transaction handled through a title company to make sure its loan has priority and to obtain a policy of lender's title insurance.
You do not need to come to Arizona to handle this. A real estate lawyer can prepare a contract and signatures can be obtained via e-mail and Federal Express. Your lawyer can also assist in opening escrow. Your job would be to qualify for a new loan.
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A: If you are not willing to or able to qualify to purchase the property, there are two ways to accomplish what you describe. First, you can do what is called a Assumption--where you folks are let out of the payments and you are substituted in their place. Whether this is possible will depend upon your credit worthiness and whether the bank considers you to be a better risk than the folks. The other is called an Assignment--where your folks assign their rights to you, but if you default on the payments they will still be on the hook. All contracts are assignable as long as the rights and obligations under the contract are not changed or unless the contract forbids it. Either way, you are going to want to consult with an attorney on the specifics of your matter.
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