What the Heir of a Former Tax Delinquent Property Owner Should Know

tax delinquent

Are you the heir of a former tax delinquent property owner?

Property taxes apply on an annual basis. If they are overdue when the owner dies, the heir must cover them, or the house might end up being sold to pay for the debts.

If you are that heir, and you have to pay overdue property taxes on a deceased person, read on to find out what you need to know!

Delinquent Property Taxes Explained

When property taxes go unpaid for several years, county or state authorities step in and place liens on that property. This means that the property might be sold at an auction to pay for the outstanding debt.

This means that you might lose your property at a tax sale auction. This is bad news, especially considering that the house will probably sell for more than the amount owed, and the authorities will reserve the extra money from the tax sale.

Tax Liabilities and Property Titles

When a tax delinquent property owner dies, liens become more complicated. Without a living title holder, the authorities cannot proceed with the liens. However, the state administrator cannot transfer the title to the heir without clearing the lien.

If a property has already been sold at a tax auction, the heir typically has up to a year to pay up and reclaim the title. However, the authorities, or the person who bought the property at the auction might dispute the claim and you will end up in the small claims court.

Probate and Outstanding Debt

If you have inherited property with outstanding debt after the death of a parent, this will be addressed during the probate process. If the debt is significant, it will pass on to you. You will then have the option to either pay the debt directly, or sell the home and pay the taxes with part of the proceeds.

However, if the proceeds are not enough to pay off the full amount of the debt, the debt will not be transferred to you. So, the worst thing that can happen is for you to lose the property and gain nothing in return.

If you have enough money to pay for the outstanding debt, and there is no liens on the property, you might be able to sort this issue out without going to court or having to sell the house.

Protecting Your Rights and Your Personal Assets from Tax Delinquent Property Inheritance

Here at Manfred Sternberg & Associates, we practice law with an emphasis on practicality and service-oriented results. We offer legal services in commercial litigation business transaction, consumer protection law, and collections law.

If you are the heir of a former tax delinquent property owner we will identify the best course of action to protect your rights. As a board-certified consumer and commercial law attorney, Manfred Sternberg is ideally equipped to help you with your case. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your legal requirements.

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