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  by Lou Castillo

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One of the things that distresses us about our industry is the amount of wrong or incomplete information available to investors. Some myths block what otherwise would be a great deal, while others would have you believe that a bad deal is actually great. For example, we encourage purchasing homes “subject-to” the existing mortgage as an option to finance the purchase of an investment property. This means that title to the property is transferred to the purchaser, but the loan remains in the original borrower’s name with payments made by the purchaser. Unfortunately, many myths exist around this method which could rob you of your profits. Let’s take this opportunity to dispel 5 of the most common.

Myth #1: Buying A House “Subject-To” The Existing Mortgage Is Illegal.

Absolutely not true! Most mortgages have a “due-on-sale” clause which states that if the house is sold without paying off the mortgage, the lender has the “right” to call the entire loan due. The key here is that they have a “right” – not an “obligation”. In other words, it’s their choice. We asked several attorneys in town who represent lenders to see if they had ever heard of a bank call a loan due because of a sale. In every instance they said not as long as the payments were made timely. Why? Because banks are in the money business – not in the real estate business. If they call the loan due, and it goes into foreclosure, they have a poor performing loan on the books (for which they have to increase their reserves), they incur additional costs, and they inherit a property. Or, they can just accept the timely payments from the new owner. Which makes more sense?
 
     
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