How to Take Over Payments on a Promissory Note

A promissory note is a promise to pay a debt. It is a financial instrument specifying the terms of a debt owed by one entity to another. By taking over the obligations of a promissory note and making all payments as per the terms of the note, you can obtain ownership to the property described by the note without having to qualify for all of the original borrowing qualifications. In most cases this is a relatively simple procedure.

Determine whether the promissory note you want to take over is assignable or transferable to another party without the consent of the issuer of the note. If a promissory note is nontransferable, it will say so somewhere on the note itself.

Make a deal with the current holder of the note for you to take over the obligations of the note assuming the note is transferable. This may require you to purchase the note from the current holder or the current holder may wish to simply give you the note, so long as you assume all financial responsibility for making future payments on the note.

Have the current holder of the note obtain a form for the assignment of ownership of a promissory note. Such forms are available online and they are available at most larger stationery stores. Also have the current note holder obtain a form for notifying the original issuer of the note that the obligations of the note are being transferred to you.

Fill out the promissory note forms. Have them notarized if required in your state.

Send the form notifying the original issuer of the note of the change in ownership of the promissory note. Use registered mail with a return receipt requested so you have proof that the original issuer of the note has been notified of the note's change in ownership.

Make all payments on the note on time as specified by the terms of the note.


  • Make certain that there are no impediments to transferring ownership of the note before trying to assume it. With some notes, a fee must be paid to the original issuer if the note changes hands or the new owner of the note must qualify before taking possession of the note.


  • Consult a lawyer before purchasing any sizable promissory note. Make certain the note is legitimate before purchasing by contacting the original issuer of the note and by doing whatever due diligence you can to make certain that the property described by the note is actually owned by the issuer of the note; fraud is common in the note-selling business.