Tax foreclosure and unresponsive owners

4 Replies

Is there anything that can be done if a property is in tax foreclosure and the absentee owners are non-responsive to mailings?

I cannot find any telephone numbers for the owners and have tried sending letters to no avail. The county in which the property is in has a very long pre-foreclosure process for taxes- 6 years before it is actually foreclosed on. They owe around $6,700 in back taxes for the last 5 years. Is there anything I can do to pick up the property before then? Tax liens, etc?

Try to find phone numbers for the owners.  They have a service that you can pay per transaction to get cell phone numbers, etc. for people.  I would also do some more investigation to make sure the owner is not deceased and see if you can find a next of kin.

We used to buy land at county tax auctions and the majority of the properties that were auctioned the original owners were deceased without a will and there was no legal next of kin so the state basically takes it over once the past-due tax amount gets high enough and auctions.  Until the state takes it over there is no one that can legally claim the deed and sell it to you so not much you can do.

Along the same lines, also be wary of people that are not on the deed but claim they are a nephew or cousin, etc. and say they will sell you the property.  Get with a title company to make sure they do indeed have the right to sell the property before you waste too much of your time.

Neal C. the reason the property hasn't been foreclosed on yet could be the same problem you are having. The attorneys may not be able to locate the owner as well, therefore they are unable to serve them papers. That being said, if the owner is deceased and their are heirs, be careful and make sure the property gets probated properly before you make any offers.

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If the economics are right, spend the money to find your target people.

Here's what I did for a very long time to make a net $100K per property:

I scrubbed forced sale property lists for properties with at least $100K or more potential equity. My practice was to always keep 6 properties that met my criteria in my hot list at all times. I reverse engineered each one so that I knew every lien holder, lender and owner of record. 

Since Deceased owners weren't going anywhere, I knew that I'd have to find their heirs...quickly. 

So, I spent an average of $1,000/property to locate heirs. My sign up and close ratio was about 20%. No one else was going to spend that amount of money chasing heirs. 

My logic is sound: spend $5k, make $100K.  Did you follow the math?