Need Advice!! Buying Abandoned Foreclosure

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Hello Everyone! I need a little help as I’m not sure what to do in this situation. Scenario: I have a family (wife and children) that would like to sell their home that is in pre foreclosure. The problem is the only person on the title is the husband. Unfortunately, the husband abandoned the home and his family and fled to another country ( along with all the money from their accounts and family business) and hasn’t been heard of since. The husband left a few years ago and the wife and children have been maintaining the house since he left. They have been unable to keep up with payments recently which is why they are in pre foreclosure. They just want to move on from this house. Is there anything that can be done since the wife is not on title and the husband is nowhere to be found??? Note- not sure if this matters but wife filed bankruptcy earlier this year Thanks! Amber

Hello @Amber Simmons :  

I think you are going to find it impossible to make a deal with just the wife unless the wife can contact the husband to sign a deed over to her.

I think the only way to clear title and get the home to you is to have the lender/bank foreclose and get title first, then sell it to you.  Otherwise, you will never own it clear.

The only other option, but which might take longer, is to resolve title through the divorce proceedings.  The wife could file for divorce and the court might grant her title based on the abandonment.  However, I don't think that is certain as the court may not be willing to transfer the asset to her.  They might even order that it be sold.

Best of luck,


@Amber Simmons Wife may want to ask the BK court deal with this matter. Whether wife has an equitable interest in the property would be relevant to the BK trustee, and courts have the power to re-title assets by order. Wife would likely have no incentive to do this on her own outside of BK as it would require filing an action, attorneys fees, time she doesn't have, etc.