Very confused about property tax situation

5 Replies

I bought a house in Atlanta in 2013. I live overseas so I don't get mail that's sent to the property.

I have been regularly checking online the Fulton County tax assessor website for any taxes owing. It always says that nothing is owing. As I've now owned the property for over a year, I was starting to get suspicious as to why there is still nothing owing.

I called the tax office and they said a third party paid the taxes. I asked who the third party was and they said Vesta Holdings and gave me their number to call. I called but the number was disconnected.

When I google searched I found this

http://vestaholdings.com/

'Vesta Holdings is a major purchaser, servicer and owner of delinquent county and municipal real estate tax liens.'

Their website also has no contact information. Can someone please help me out with some knowledge? I'm mortified I'm going to lose the house in some tax lien scheme.

Don't know the procedures in Atlanta, but call the tax office back, explain the situation, ask what to do. If that doesn't get you what you need, you'll likely need a local Atlanta attorney familiar with the tax lien process.

And of course, you need to change the mailing address at the tax office to where you will get it.

@Nat Chan Actually, there is a link in the upper left of the landing page that gives you contact info at
http://vestaholdings.com/vesta/contactus.asp

Before contacting these guys, it's probably worth finding out exactly what happened 1) at your closing in 2013, and 2) anything since. Tax liens don't just get processed and sold overnight; I'd think several months or years passed between the last property tax payment and the sale of the house to you.

You may very well have bought a property that didn't have a clean title. I'd suggest getting the attorney you used (you *did* use an attorney, right?) to go through everything with a fine toothed comb.

Alternately, some sort of clerical error by someone, somewhere, has caused this to happen to your house when it should be the neighbor's.

Leon, yes I did use a closing attorney. I will contact them.

The 'contact us' page on vesta holdings website is only a street address in Atlanta. Its not like I can pop by their office from overseas.

That's true, but perhaps a FedEx letter or similar would work. In the meantime, the attorney should be able to piece together why you're in this predicament to begin with.

@Nat Chan

Your property may have been put in county Tax sale already.

Fulton county put all 2013 tax delinquent properties to tax auction.

1) Notify tax office, change your mailing address immediately.

2) check with county tax if your property were placed in tax auction already; & if any third party had won the auction. You should also receive the notification from the county.

a) IF YES, pay off the amount (2013 tax owing + interest + penalty + overbid amount + 20% of total bidding amount.) You have up to one year to redeem the property. Make sure you get your overbid back from the county.

b) IF NO, just pay off the amount (2013 tax owing + interest + penalty + service charge.); before the county put your property into tax auction.

From what you wrote up there, I have a feeling it has not go through tax auction yet. Good Luck.

BTW, you have to make sure the address is changed yourself, DO NOT depend on lawyers, double check.

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