Behold the Boogeyman of real estate - the dreaded due-on-sale clause! Banks can summon the mortgage monster if the property deed dares to change hands. But fear not, for this mythical creature seldom sees the light of day! It's like catching a glimpse of a unicorn at the local grocery store - incredibly rare and almost fantastical!

Due On Sale Clause Utah

Imagine you’re selling your Utah home, and the buyer wants to assume your mortgage (subject-to) instead of obtaining new financing. While this may seem like a convenient solution, there’s a catch: your mortgage has a due-on-sale clause. This common provision in mortgage contracts can have significant consequences for the seller and buyer. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of due-on-sale clauses, their legal exceptions, and how they affect various types of mortgages and property transfers.

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Short Summary

  • Due-on-sale clauses are contractual stipulations that protect lenders from financial risks by requiring borrowers to repay the entire loan when selling or transferring property.
  • They can significantly impact borrowers, potentially leading to foreclosure if they cannot repay the loan upon activating the clause.
  • Assumable mortgages allow buyers and sellers to benefit from reduced interest rates and closing costs without extensive bureaucratic processes.

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Understanding Due-On-Sale Clauses

Understanding the due on sale clause

The due-on-sale clause is critical to most mortgage contracts, including due-on-sale mortgages, to protect lenders’ interests when borrowers sell or transfer their property. These clauses may require the borrower to pay 100% of the remaining loan upon selling or transferring the Utah property instead of allowing the new owner to take over the existing 
home loan. An acceleration clause is also present in mortgage contracts, which may trigger the repayment of the entire loan under certain conditions.

This way, lenders can protect themselves from financial risks, such as below-market interest rates and unauthorized property transfers.

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Definition Of A Due-On-Sale Clause

A due-on-sale clause is a real estate home loan provision that requires the borrower to repay 100% of the remaining loan balance if the real estate attached to the loan is sold or transferred without the lender's prior written consent. If the due on sale clause is triggered, the Utah homeowner that sold or transferred the property may be required to repay the mortgage lender upon the sale or transfer of the property used to secure the mortgage.

The Garn-St. Germain Act of 1982 restricted the due-on-sale clause for calling the mortgage loan remaining balance due under certain circumstances.

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Purpose Of Due-On-Sale Clause

The primary intent of the due-on-sale clause is to safeguard lenders, ensuring that new property purchasers do not take over the existing mortgage. By enforcing these clauses, lenders protect themselves against risks like below-market interest rates and unauthorized Utah property transfers.

Essentially, due-on-sale clauses provide a layer of security for lenders, ensuring they maintain control over their investments.

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The Functioning Of Due-On-Sale Clauses

The due-on-sale clause notifies the borrower that they may be required to repay the full mortgage upon selling the property, protecting the bank's investment. In other words, if you sell or transfer your property while it is still under a mortgage, the due-on-sale clause can be triggered, requiring you to pay off the entire loan before the Utah property can change hands.

However, it’s important to note that there are legally recognized exceptions to the due-on-sale clause, such as transfers of property among family members, death and inheritance, and living trusts.

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Enforcement Of The Due-On-Sale Clause

Lenders enforce the due-on-sale clause during the real estate closing, ensuring the outstanding principal and interest are paid in full. If a seller attempts to transfer the deed to a new buyer without the lender’s consent, the lender can foreclose (but probably won't).

enforcing due on sale clause UT

However, foreclosure is unlikely if the new owner is making mortgage payments. Regardless of the due-on-sale provision in the mortgage contract, foreclosing is not in the lender's best interest and is the last thing banks want.

The due-on-sale clause can considerably influence borrowers, as they restrict their capacity to transfer the mortgage or dispose of the house without the lender’s approval. Lenders may consider market conditions and financial risks when enforcing a due-on-sale clause.

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Impact On Utah Borrowers

Borrowers are impacted by the due-on-sale clause in the following ways:

  • Without the lender's consent, they cannot transfer their mortgage to a new buyer.
  • This constraint can limit their flexibility when selling or transferring the property.
  • It may result in financial strain if they cannot pay off the loan upon triggering the due-on-sale clause.

In such cases, the lender may demand immediate repayment and initiate foreclosure proceedings, putting the borrower at risk of losing their property.

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Differentiating Between Due-On-Sale And Assumable Mortgage

Due On sale clause and assumable mortgages

While due-on-sale mortgages require the buyer to obtain a new loan upon purchasing the property, an assumable mortgage offers an alternative option. Assumable mortgages (FHA and VA Loans) enable buyers to assume the seller’s existing loan, often with lower interest rates and closing costs.

Understanding the differences between these two types of mortgages is crucial, as it can impact the flexibility and financial outcomes of both the borrowers and lenders.

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Characteristics Of Assumable Mortgages

Assumable mortgages allow buyers to assume the seller’s remaining debt, typically with reduced interest rates and closing costs. This can benefit both the buyer and seller, as the buyer can inherit a lower interest rate and an attractive mortgage contract.  For the seller, assumable mortgages can help them sell their home faster, especially in the high-interest-rate real estate market.


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Pro Tip: Assuming an existing mortgage when purchasing a Utah house takes significantly longer than applying for a new loan.

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Due-On-Sale Vs. Assumable Mortgage

The key difference between a due-on-sale and an assumable mortgage lies in their treatment of the existing mortgage upon the sale or transfer of a property. Due-on-sale mortgages do not allow buyers to assume the seller’s mortgage, necessitating them to apply for new financing when purchasing the property.

In contrast, an assumable mortgage permits buyers to assume the seller’s mortgage, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements. This distinction can have significant implications for borrowers regarding flexibility, interest rates, and overall financial outcomes.

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Legal Exceptions To Due-On-Sale Clauses

Exceptions To Due-On-Sale Clauses

Although the due-on-sale clause is designed to protect lenders, there are legal exceptions that allow borrowers to bypass these provisions under specific circumstances. The Garn-St Germain Depository Institutions set forth these exceptions. Act of 1982 includes transfers of property among family members, death and inheritance, and living trusts.

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Property Transfers Among Family Members

Transferring property to a spouse, child, or other family member may be exempt from the due-on-sale clause. This allows family members to transfer Utah property without being subject to the constraints of the due-on-sale clause, providing more flexibility in managing family-owned properties.

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Death And Inheritance

The Garn-St Germain Act exempts the due-on-sale clause for property inheritance. This act prevents banks from enforcing the due-on-sale clause when the deed of a mortgaged property changes hands following the borrower’s death.

This allows the inheritor to assume the mortgage without triggering the due-on-sale clause following an incidental property settlement agreement.

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Living Trusts

Transferring property to a living trust may avoid triggering a due-on-sale clause, provided the borrower remains the beneficiary. Living trusts are a popular estate planning tool that allows individuals to manage their assets during their lifetime and efficiently distribute them upon their death.

By taking advantage of this legal exception, borrowers can maintain control over their property while using a living trust to manage their estate.

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Mortgage Lenders And Due-On-Sale Clause Enforcement

Lenders use discretion when it comes to enforcing the due-on-sale clause. Depending on market conditions and financial risks, they may choose not to enforce the clause, allowing borrowers more flexibility in transferring their property.

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Pro Tip:  It is very rare for a lender to call a loan due once the deed transfers to a new owner.  If banks receive their monthly mortgage payments on time, they'll likely never call the loan due. 

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If the new owner of the Utah property makes consistent on-time mortgage payments, lenders are more likely than not to leave the existing loan in place regardless of the due-on-sale provisions in the mortgage contract.

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Utah Market Conditions

Market conditions can be crucial in a lender’s decision to enforce a due-on-sale clause. In a weakened housing market or when the property's value has decreased considerably, lenders may be more inclined not to enforce the clause to safeguard their investment.

Utah housing market

This gives borrowers more flexibility in transferring their property without triggering the due-on-sale clause.

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Financial Risks

Lenders may also consider the financial risks associated with enforcing a due-on-sale clause before deciding to demand full repayment of the loan. If the borrower cannot pay off the loan upon triggering the due-on-sale clause, the lender may face financial losses as they attempt to recoup their investment through foreclosure.

By assessing these risks, lenders can make informed decisions about whether to enforce the due-on-sale clause in specific situations.

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Real-Life Example of a Due-on-Sale Clause

A real-life example of a due-on-sale clause involves a Utah homeowner selling their property and being required to repay the remaining mortgage balance before transferring ownership to the buyer. In this scenario, the due-on-sale clause prevents the buyer from simply assuming the seller’s mortgage and forces the buyer to secure new financing.

This ensures the lender’s interests are protected, and the original loan is repaid in full, covering the remaining balance.

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Government-Backed Loans And Due-On-Sale Clauses

Government Backed Home Loans

Government-backed loans, such as USDA, VA, and FHA loans, often do not have a due-on-sale clause, allowing buyers to assume the seller’s mortgage under certain eligibility requirements. This can make these loans more attractive to buyers and sellers, as they provide an alternative to the constraints imposed by the due-on-sale clause.

However, buyers must meet the necessary eligibility requirements in order to assume these types of loans.

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Navigating Quitclaim Deeds And Due-On-Sale Clause

Quitclaim deeds, which convey property ownership from one individual to another, can trigger a due-on-sale clause, making the original owner responsible for the remaining loan amount. This can lead to potential foreclosure if the original owner cannot repay the loan upon transferring the property.

Therefore, it is crucial for borrowers to be aware of the implications of quitclaim deeds in relation to due-on-sale clauses and to seek legal advice when navigating such transactions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Due On Sale FAQ 

Are Due-On-Sale Clauses Enforceable?

The due-on-sale clause is federally enforceable according to the Germain Depository Institutions Act. Lenders may enforce such clauses if they feel their security is at risk or if they can make more money, such as when interest rates are rising.

In such cases, the lender can require the borrower to pay off the loan in full, even if the borrower has not defaulted. This can be a difficult situation.

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What Does A Due-On-Sale Clause In A Loan Allows?

A due-on-sale clause allows lenders to call the entire loan due if the current borrower sells or transfers the Utah real estate. This clause is especially common in home mortgages and helps prevent homeowners from selling their property before paying off their debt.

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The Clause In A Mortgage Instrument That Would Prevent Loan Assumption?

The due-on-sale clause in a mortgage instrument prevents prospective buyers from assuming the current mortgage, safeguarding the lender by ensuring the new owner obtains a loan at prevailing rates.

This clause is beneficial to the lender, as it ensures that the loan is paid off in full and that the lender is not left with a loan that has been assumed by a new owner at a lower rate. It also helps to protect the lender from any potential losses due to any potential losses.

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What Is The Difference Between Due-On-Sale And Assumable Mortgages?

Due-on-sale mortgages require buyers to obtain new financing, whereas an assumable mortgage permits buyers to assume the seller’s mortgage under certain eligibility requirements.

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What Are The Legal Exceptions To Due-On-Sale Clauses?

Legal exceptions to due-on-sale clauses include transfers among family members, death and inheritance, and living trusts, allowing for the continuation of financial security and stability. These exceptions allow individuals to pass on their assets to their heirs without worrying about the financial burden of a due-on-sale clause. This allows the family to benefit from the equity in the deceased family member's Utah real estate, keeping the asset in the family, even after their death.

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Due-On-Sale Clause Summary

In conclusion, the due-on-sale clause is important in mortgage contracts, protecting lenders’ interests when borrowers sell or transfer their property. While these clauses can constrain borrowers, legal exceptions and alternative mortgage options, such as assumable mortgages and government-backed loans, provide more flexibility. By understanding the intricacies of due-on-sale clauses and their relation to different types of mortgages and property transfers, borrowers can make informed decisions when managing their property and mortgage obligations.

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