Los Angeles, CA asked in Real Estate Law for Indiana

Q: My parents parents bought a property in Indiana through land contract. Both passed away, they were only ones in contract

The house was completely remodeled by us. We spent 40,000 dollars during two years we lived there. Bought home for 60,000 back in 2018. Moved to AZ while still paying property. PARENTS TRIED TO GET THE Approval FROM OWNERS TO HAVE THE HOUSE PAID OFF BY PARENTS GETTING A MORGAGE LOAN AND PAYING OFF SO THE PROPERTY COULD BE UNDER THEIR NAME. Parents passed away due to COVID last SEPTEMBER. THEY WERE ABOUT TO SIGN THE LOAN TO PAYOUT PROPERTY . IT WAS ACCEPTED. THEY PLANNED ON SELLING IT BECAUSE IT WAS WORTH MORE AND DID THE WORK THEMSELVES.

I was also sick with COVID, and in same hospital. I contacted the owners who I believe have been making payments, and asked if I could pay off property with a mortgage loan I offered 55,000

Our things are still in the house, but they tried to sell me the house for at least 80,000 . I know the home is worth more, but is because of the work we did. Is there something I can do. If my parents are gone we loose everything that was invested?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Ray Smith
Michael Ray Smith
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: I am not sure I completely understand everything that has happened or the current situation, but under Indiana law, the seller under a valid land contract cannot take the property back except through a foreclosure. The property is sold, the seller is paid the rest of what is owed under the contract, and the buyers get the rest of the proceeds. Your question implies that the seller has taken the property back and wants to sell it again, but you didn't mention a foreclosure. You also didn't say anything about your parents' estates, which would affect ownership of the property -- or to be more precise, the ownership of their equitable right to the property.

You need to contact a lawyer in Indiana, preferably in or near the county where the property is located, who practices real estate law to sort this out.

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