Downside to land-contract real estate purchase

Payoff plans interfere with seller's timeline

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DEAR BOB: About three years ago, we bought the house we were renting. We didn't get the deed because we agreed to buy on an installment land contract. Our credit wasn't good at the time and we didn't have down-payment cash so we were satisfied. We have made all the payments to the seller on time. My wife recently came into an inheritance, which will enable us to pay off the seller's land contract and obtain the title. However, he has now encumbered the property with a mortgage for more than our purchase price. He admitted he shouldn't have done this but he didn't expect us to pay off the land contract so soon. He doesn't have the approximate $12,000 extra cash to pay off all his debt secured by our house. What should we do? --Bryan H. DEAR BRYAN: Please consult a local real estate attorney. Your situation shows why installment land contracts can be so dangerous, especially for buyers when sellers can't deliver marketable title. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Perhaps the seller has...