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Forfeiture of Land Contracts

What is a Land Contract?

A land sale contract is where the buyer pays the seller over time for the deed to the property.  The seller holds the title until the contract is paid.  Upon payment the seller must give the title to the buyer.

Should I consult an attorney before entering in a land sale agreement?

The court recommends that each party to the land sale contract seek the advice of an attorney.

What happens upon default of the buyer?

Sellers must provide a forfeiture notice to the buyer.  Then the seller may file a complaint with the district court.

When may a Summons and Complaint be filed?

A seller may file a summons and complaint after the prescribed period of notice elapses and amounts due are not fully paid.

What happens after the filing of the Summons and Complaint?

A hearing will be scheduled with the judge. The buyer will be served with a comply of the complaint and summons. Both the seller and buyer are to appear in court a the scheduled hearing.

What happens at the hearing?

The judge will listen to both sides, and make a ruling. The judge will issue a judgment.

What should the seller have bring to the hearing?

In addition to all relevant evidence, the seller should have prepared a proposed judgment form. This proposed judgment should have empty spaces for date, dollar amounts, and signature of the judge.

What happens if the seller prevails?

The buyer will be ordered to pay the arrearages within the time period allowed.  If the buyer does not pay within the item allowed, then the landlord may fill an order of eviction.

What can the buyer do?

In order to avoid forfeiture, a buyer may pay all the remainder of on the contract and costs to regain possession and legal title to the property of the land sale contract.

What is this time period?

If the buyer has paid half or less of the contract price, then the buyer has 91 days to pay the remainder and costs in full.  If the buyer has paid more than half of the contract price, then the buyer has 180 days to pay the remainder and costs in full.