Land Contracts

Land Contract Forfeiture or Foreclosure

At Christenson & Fiederlein, PC, our attorneys can handle the legal proceedings necessary for the filing of a Land Contract Forfeiture or Foreclosure proceeding. Read below for more information and contact us for assistance.

Land Contract Forfeiture

Land Contract Forfeiture is an action that is filed in the local District Court where the property is located for purposes of allowing the Vendee of the Land Contract (i.e. the Buyer) the opportunity to bring the land contract current, including all arrearage for payments, taxes, interest, costs and expenses. You would be entitled to a Judgment of Land Contract Forfeiture that allows the Buyer/Defendant 90 days pay (if less than 50 percent of the Land Contract has been paid) to keep the property or the property would be forfeited to the Plaintiff/Seller. The disadvantage is that if the Judgment is not paid, the Plaintiff only gets the property back, no money judgment. If you are seeking a Judgment for a deficiency between the value of the property and the Land Contract amount, the Foreclosure is the process, but it is more costly.

Advantages of Forfeiture: Summary Proceeding allows for a short litigation process (can obtain Judgment relatively quickly) and much less expensive than foreclosure. Short redemption period (90 days if less than 50 percent owed).

Disadvantages of Forfeiture: No money Judgment.


An action filed in Circuit Court for Land Contract Foreclosure is commenced by giving notice to the Land Contract holder of the intent to accelerate the entire balance due on the Land Contract, including all principal, interest, costs and expenses. A title commitment for insurance should be ordered prior to commencement to give all parties of interest, notice of the litigation proceeding. Defendant after service will have 28 days to respond to the Complaint or a default will be entered.

Upon entry of a Judgment of Foreclosure, which contains the full amount owed on the land contract, including principal, interest, costs and expenses (actual attorney fees are not included in the judgment), the property can be sold at a sheriff's sale. The property does not get sold until 3 months have passed from entry of the Judgment of sale. An upset price may be set forth in the Judgment. After the Judgment, the property is sold at sale after publication costs as required by statute. A public sale is conducted and the sheriff accepts the highest bid made on the property and you may bid any amount for the property up to the Judgment amount without paying any funds. Usually, you are the only bidder at the sale. Upon conclusion of the sale, a Sherriff's Deed is recorded at the register of Deeds and the bidder at the sale is the owner of the property after Six (6) months, if not redeemed.

An advantage of the Land Contract Foreclosure Process does allow you the opportunity for a deficiency (money) judgment against the Buyer

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