I would look for an attorney that specializes in fighting foreclosures in court!
I would not let this guy off the hook!
It may be possible in many areas of the country, due to the “backlog of foreclosures” in the courts, to get his foreclosure prceeding delayed for many, many months, via a good attorney, by filing motions on your behalf against this seller/landlord who harmed you!
I’m not a lawyer, but from what I hear, it could take some months for a new motion to be heard by the courts, in certain areas of the country.
So if you can, I would “return the favor” and maybe you could wind-up staying in the property rent free for another year (or longer!)…
Plus you could try to get the seller/landlord to just quit claim you the house. And then your attorney, could present your original contract, that you were paying in good faith (maybe you could even set-up an escrow account, with all the unpaid monthly rents, and try to use it as a “bargining chip” with the lender! In this way you can show that you had good intent and wanted to pay, but the actions of your seller/landlord defaulting on both his mortage and defaulting on your option, forced your hand to “withhold” rents).
Who knows what these lenders may do, if some pressure is put on them by the legal system (your attorney). It could be as simple as having you name added to the note and mortgage by the lender.
So if this seller deeded you his property, and the lender modified the loan to add your name on it, you may be able to negotiate all the past due payments to the end of the loan, and you can show good faith to the lender by giving them a lump sum of money towards the principal. These are all just “way out there” scenarios, but you never know until you try!
But getting back to this “bad seller/landlord” who defaulted on your lease/option;
…“take him to the cleaners”;
…by staying in the house for as long as an attorney can “stretch the rubber band” before it breaks!
Now, from what I’ve been told even if the property does get foreclosed on, now the lender must then go through a different court system, and then file for your “ejectment” or eviction.
Who knows? Maybe your attorney can use the same valid arguments in this new “court venue” (ejectment/eviction) and get you another 6-12 months or more free rent!
So, take the money you potentialy saved (maybe 1 to 1 1/2 years or more or free rent!) and now go and make another good deal, hopefully with an honest seller/landlord!
A healthy and happy holiday season to all!
P.S. I’m not an attorney, I wanted you create some scenarios for you, that may or may not have “legal merit”. You need to discuss these thoughts with a lawyer!