Tax Deed FAQ: “Am I responsible for the outstanding Association liens on a tax-deeded property in Florida?”

Not too long ago we spoke with an investor who had found the perfect condo going up for sale at an upcoming tax deed auction but had immediately lost interest once he discovered a large outstanding condo association lien was attached to it. He realized his mistake when we told him this:

 

The tax deed purchaser is NOT responsible for past Association liens and there is ample support for this in Florida Statutes.

The issue of tax deeds and Association liens has been heavily litigated in FL for years, but now it is pretty well settled law. Association statutes Chapter 718 & 720 impose liability for past due assessments in relation to property acquired by the transfer of title, however, a tax deed does not represent a transfer of title but the commencement of a new, original and paramount title.

 

The courts ruled in favor of the tax deed statue, as it is more specific in addressing the key issue of their survival or extinguishment after issuance of a tax deed and any conflict must be resolved in favor of the more specific statute.

 

The majority of the time when we see a tax deed purchaser have an issue it is due to human error in recording an Association claim of Lien for past due amounts AFTER the tax deed sale or the Association simply forgot to tell their attorney the property had been sold at a tax deed auction so they continue to try and collect the debt they believe they are owed. To catch these mistakes check the dates that they are claiming for assessments and other back due amounts.

 

You are only responsible for the Association dues from the tax deed sale moving forward.

 

Our attorneys at Cleartosell have formatted a standard letter for our clients when an Association makes an improper claim for amount due. If you would like a copy of this template please give us a call or email us at info@cleartosell.com and mention this blog post.

 

Click here to watch a short presentation where our Senior Staff Attorney, Megan Schmidt breaks down this topic with examples supporting case law.

August 15, 2017

Posted In: Attorneys, Investing, Tax-Deed

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Do Properties Purchased off the List of Lands Come Free and Clear of Liens?

Some of the more common questions we receive from tax deed investors involve the list of lands and escheatment tax deeds. In this post we breakdown what the investor needs to know about purchasing tax deeds from the list of lands.

 

What is the List of Lands?

If there are no bidders at the public sale for the tax deed, the certificate holder is given the option to pay the remaining balance and take ownership of the property or pay the costs to re-list the property at a subsequent auction.

If the certificate holder neglects to do either within 30 days after the original public auction, the Clerk will add the property to a list entitled “lands available for taxes.” These properties can be purchased “over the counter” for the minimum bid advertised by the Clerk.

 

What about the liens?

If a property is purchased off the list of lands, the same rules apply as if the property had been sold at auction, as far as lien survival. In general, the majority of liens and interests such as mortgages and judgments are extinguished by the tax deed sale, but the county and municipal liens remain. Any easement and covenants that run with the land also stay attached, just as if the property was purchased at auction.

 

What is an Escheatment tax deed?

After the property has sat on the list of lands for at least three years from the date of the original public auction, the land will escheat to the county free and clear. The Clerk will execute an escheatment tax deed to the Board of County Commissioners and liens of any nature will be deemed canceled as matter of law. Easements and covenants that run with the land will still remain attached.

Purchasing the escheatment tax deed is the only way we have seen to extinguish the existing governmental interests by operation of the sale itself.

 

At Clear to Sell, we are continually developing unique ways to save tax deed investors like you both time and money. If this information has been useful, please visit our YouTube channel to see our principal attorney address this topic in an episode of our educational video series: Tax Deed Law Made Simple

July 26, 2017

Posted In: Attorneys, Auctions, Investing, Tax-Deed

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Types of Title Insurance: How does a Lender Policy differ from an Owner Policy?

Title insurance protects a named party against financial loss due to title defects such as liens, encumbrances or adverse ownership claims. So what is the difference between a lender’s title policy and an owner’s title policy?

A Lender policy is generally required to insure any lien placed on a property. This policy insures the lender so if title defects arise, the lender gets compensated for its loss up to the total mortgage amount.

An Owner’s policy is optional and the owner may choose to obtain an Owner’s policy that protects the equity of the owner if title defects arise up to the full purchase price.

In Florida, if two policies are purchased at the same time, the smaller policy can be issued at a “simultaneous rate” for a significant savings in premium.

At Clear to Sell, we are continually developing unique ways to save tax deed investors like you both time and money. If this information has been useful, visit our YouTube channel to see our principal attorney address this topic in an episode of our educational video series: Tax Deed Law Made Simple.

April 19, 2017

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The Positive Impacts of the Tax Lien System

Local Governments depend on property taxes for funding of the critical services we all rely on like public schools, road maintenance, public safety and healthcare, to just name a few.

So what happens to a community and its services when property taxes go unpaid? Well you wont be surprised to learn that delinquent property taxes impede the provision of important government services and the local government’s fiscal health declines.

So how is this degradation in service provision prevented? Many governments use the sale of tax liens to reclaim this missing revenue and ensure continuation of service provision to their citizens.

But unfortunately, tax liens sales have a negative reputation based on the misconception that they cause homeowners to lose their property to greedy investors.   This is not true. The vast majority of homeowners are forced into action to redeem the lien by payment of back taxes. With some minor inconvenience to the homeowner, everybody wins – the government collects enough tax dollars with which to fund public services, and the homeowner keeps their homes thus stabilizing neighborhoods.

Cities like New Orleans who have aggressive tax collection efforts prove highly successful at recovering taxpayer dollars and raising revenue to go toward resident’s top priorities.

New York City is a shining example of a successful tax lien system. Since implementing a lax lien securitization system they have secured a collection rate of almost 99 percent!

Only properties that are not redeemed are sold to new owners by way of a tax deed sale, and in most cases the new owners will improve the homes and pay the property taxes in a timely fashion.

Overall tax deed investors help eliminate community blight by reclaiming and improving vacant or dilapidated properties and paying back the delinquent tax revenue the local government needs to improve crucial public services like schools and hospitals.

We encourage you to do some research into the way your local government handles their tax lien sale process and to request information on how to get involved if you are interested in becoming a tax deed investor yourself.

March 20, 2017

Posted In: Auctions, Investing, Tax, Tax-Deed

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