When a real estate seller is willing to finance his buyer’s purchase of the property being sold with a relatively small down payment, it is common for the transaction to proceed by what is called a contract sale or an installment contract for deed. Under that form of transaction, the seller does not execute and record a deed when the transaction closes and possession of the property is transferred to the buyer. Instead, the parties execute a document under which the buyer agrees to make payments and to insure and maintain the property and the seller agrees when the seller has been paid as agreed, a deed will eventually be delivered.
When a buyer defaults under the contract, the seller is faced with the problem of how to terminate the contract and get his property back. The contract sale document will provide that after default and upon notice, the contract may be terminated and all prior payments forfeited. However, that does not put the contract seller back into possession of the property.
Restoration of possession requires the use of the Illinois Forcible Entry and Detainer Act, which is contained in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (“CCP”). Section 5/9-104.1 of the CCP requires that a demand be served on the buyer giving at least 30 days to satisfy the demand before suit may be filed. The case then proceeds like any other eviction, except that in entry of the eviction judgment, the court may stay the enforcement of the judgment for up to 60 days where more than 75% of the original purchase price remains unpaid but in cases where less than 75% remains unpaid, the Court is required to stay enforcement of the order for 180 days. The court may grant a shorter stay even where than 75% of the original purchase price remains unpaid, if the plaintiff can show that plaintiff had granted previous extensions of the time to pay or for other good cause shown.
Feel free to contact an Illinois attorney experienced in handling all aspects of real estate transactions and litigation at Kreisler Law if you have questions about sale of your Chicago area real estate or any other area of the laws governing real estate.