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Ask Dave

When You Assume

Tina presents Dave with a situation that either means she made a mistake or could be in some trouble.

QUESTION: Tina has 2 properties in another state. She sold them to an investor and he took on the mortgage. There were lots of details that were never worked out. Tina wants to sue the investor for her property. Dave explains property transfers and how to avoid getting scammed.

ANSWER: He can’t assume the mortgage. There are no assumable mortgages out there. You gave up the house but kept the loan. You don’t own the house anymore because you gave him the title. You need to find out if you’ve given him the title or the deed. If you gave him the deed, you’ll have to sue him to get the deed back, and you’ll probably lose the house before that happens.

If you didn’t give him the deed, then you still own the house and you have a contract with him that he’s in violation on. In that case, you should take your paperwork to a real estate attorney and find out if you still have the deed, and you probably should just sell the houses. But you have to make sure that you actually own the property before you sell it. You might also check at the courthouse and see who they show the owner of record to be. Don’t transfer a property to someone unless the mortgage is paid off. They’re not assumable!