Posted by Tony-VA/NC on October 20, 2003 at 16:23:21:
Yet another reason why titles (or similar) recorded documents are important in order to secure your promissory note.
You should determine how your state provides the public recording protection that you need so as to prevent this from happening again.
For this deal, sometimes it is most important to remember that we really just want the payments and so long as they come in (especially if our securing instrument is weak) we should be content.
It is always best to negotiate from a position of strength. Your lack of protection weakened your position and your buyer called you on it.
I would suggest you begin by notifying the current resident of the situation. If it were me, in my state, this notification would be a 10-day pay or quit notice taped to the door of the home.
You can bet that her buyer will be calling you and her. You can explain the situation to that buyer and perhaps work out an equitable solution.
You can sue your buyer in small claims court. I would start this process ASAP. You can always stop it later but get the ball rolling now. (That 10 day notice or similar notice in your state may well be the beginning of the process but found out exactly how it works where you are).
Consider this a lesson to learn from. Sure it is frustrating but it will make your business better.