Tax sale property headache - What would you do?

3 Replies

In June, I purchased a house at a county tax sale.  It ended up being beyond economical repair, so I sold it to a local investor at a loss.  I sent him the quit claim deed the following month and received payment.  A few weeks later, the county code enforcement sent me a nuisance abatement letter for the property being overgrown and trash.  This was one of the main reasons why I wanted to rid myself of the property quickly, since I live out of state and couldn't handle this myself.  Before this happened, I kept on the investor to file the quit claim but he ended up taking two months to file.  On top of that, he had the wrong legal description on the deed (something I should have caught), so we had to file a new quit claim deed.  Today I received a bill from the county for almost $3K for property cleanup, something that I shouldn't have been an issue since the deed should have been filed months before the nuisance abatement letter was received.  

I don't know what is the move at this point.  To be fully honest, I am still new to tax sale investing and am definitely paying my dues with this property.  Would appreciate any advice on what course of action to take.  

@Michael Lazzizzera if the investor did record the quit claim deed you could do a corrective deed which should make him the owner as of the original recording.

In MD you are not considered the owner until you record a deed. However once you record the deed you are considered the owner as of the date of the deed - not the date of recording. Look into this as it may help you avoid penalties and fines. Also now that he is the owner, he may be technically on the hook for the fines.  Again In Maryland, the fines go with the property not the owner. 

Learn as much as you can from this. You will probably learn a lot just trying to fix the problem. Those lessons will pay off some day.

@Ned Carey , I will definitely look into this, really appreciate the input.  This has definitely been a learning experience, to say the least.  It's really tested my resolve, that's for sure.

You may have received that bill because you are still the record owner. Like @Ned Carey said, around here (and I would assume everywhere, but check your local law) those types of bills are liens against the property rather than personal debts. Forward the bill to your buyer and inquire about the status of the deed recording.

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here