Fountain Hill, PA asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for West Virginia

Q: I'm interested in selling, on installment payments, vacant land in West Virginia that I own outright.

I would prefer to use a Land Contract with installment payments specified and a forfieture clause defined. The land contract would not be recorded. Conveyance would only occur after all payments were made as defined in the contract. If the Buyer defaults on the contract due to non-payment, is a juidicial foreclosure necessary in WV or can I simply execute the forfeit clause which would void any interest the Buyer may have? Or would a lease-purchase contract be more suitable?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: Unless West Virginia is way behind the times you should know that the use of unrecorded land contracts (a/k/a contracts for deed) for the sale of land owned free and clear are getting more and more rare--probably because the land buyers of today are becoming smarter and smarter. But hey: if you can find a buyer willing to trust you or your heirs to do the right thing after the buyer has paid monthly, quarterly or annual payments to you or your heirs for 15, 20 or 30 years, then have at it.

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