How to acquire a property abandonded by the Estate's Trustee

18 Replies

There is a property near where I live that is currently vacant and in really rough shape.  I researched the owner and discovered he had died and this property was part of his estate.  I read the court documents and discovered that the trustee for the estate received a court judgement to allow her to abandon the property.

I see that the taxes are current and paid by Chase bank.  I cannot find an address or contact info for the trustee because she has a very common name.  

I do not see any mortgages recorded against the property but did find local code enforcement liens.

How would I go about getting my hands on this property if the estate has legally abandoned it? The property is located in Florida.

I would follow the only lead that you have - the organization that is paying the taxes. My question is that if there is no lien on the property, then why is Chase bank paying the property taxes? The answer to that question may help.

You could also try to track down the executor of the estate to try to get some more information.

Is there any equity?

What your preferred play?

If this is a probate estate, the person in charge is called either executor or administrator. Trustee (or successor trustee) is typically a term associated with a trust that owns real property. You'd better get this part clarified before trying to proceed any further, lest you come across as a time waster to the people that you wish to (positively) influence.

If Chase is paying the taxes, then they likely have a mortgage on it.  Check for a mtg in the prior/related owner name.  That also follows with why the "trustee" abandoned the asset, it was over encumbered.

I just found his mortgage info.  It turns out he is a ward of the state due to mental incapacity.  The court was petitioned by his limited guardian for abandonment which was granted back in July of 2010.  At that time his mortgage balance was $203,000 at 11% interest (ouch).  

I scoured the public records and show no evidence of a foreclosure, and the property appraiser as well as tax collector websites show his name as the owner.

Am I correct that most likely Chase is just holding this property on their books for whatever reason?

In the end I answered my own question, now I have to keep reaching out to Chase until someone there can tell me how I can go about acquiring this as a short sale.

It is a triplex, in a good area, thus I intend on fixing it up for a long term buy and hold.

With no cooperation from the owner/guardian, there is no short sale. 

@Tyler S. If the property was legally abandoned, then the bank likely already holds the title, so there is nothing to short on a sale. The property would be with Chase's REO group.

There are still a lot of properties in FL in the REO backlog. Chase in particular stalled about 90% of their foreclosure and REO liquidation efforts, until their final judgment/fine was levied earlier this year.

The fact that the property is in "rough" shape gives you a bit of leverage. Find out what the $ amount of the code violations is and what the ongoing violations are costing. Use that information as leverage, when you speak to the REO area for Chase. You can actually Google Chase Bank REO and get a great deal of contact information. If they do hold title to the property, your job is to convince them to sell the property to you and avoid future code violations.

Hattie, 

Thank you so much for the information, I will follow your advice immediately.

@Tyler S. let us know how it goes with Chase! Looking to do a few of these myself

From what I understand, you cannot work directly with Chase on obtaining foreclosure properties. Once they are listed, then you can purchase them as a REO but as long as they are in the foreclosure limbo (otherwise known as zombie foreclosures), they are untouchable.

Making contact with Chase, however, could dust off the file that they probably forgot about and get the process active again. But I highly doubt if they will sell direct. Let us all know if they do!

Update on the mystery triplex.  It seems this property is a distinguished member of the zombie foreclosure clan.  After several calls to Chase they were able to "find it" in their system.  I was given the "watch our website" speech because they could not tell me when it would be available for sale.

I did find out that they do sell direct to investors in some cases however the last person I talked to was unable to specify beyond that.

Thanks for all the help on this one folks, it was a great learning experience.

Here is an option. Is the property in a state that has a redemption period? If so, perhaps the property is still in it. If that is the case, if you can track down the owner or trustee, you can offer to redeem the property for them in exchange for title and a little extra cash for their effort. Gets you the house and the original owner is thrilled to have $500.

Title is still in the deceased's name.  The estate "abandoning" the property doesn't transfer title back to Chase, the estate has simply relinquished any claims to it.  There has been no foreclosure.  Chase won't have title unless the estate does a DIL, or it's foreclosed on.  Chase has no control over the property now, except in the capacity of approving/denying a short sale.

@Simon, it is located in Florida, thus no redemption period since Florida is a Judicial state (or so I read online).  

@Wayne, you are correct the property is still in the owners name and I see no evidence of a foreclosure or even a Lis Pendens recorded in public records.

Any suggestions on next steps?  Chase was very clear about the fact they they are not considering a short sale at this time and it appears it has been abandoned since 2010 or before.

The only choice is a short sale.  Without cooperation from someone in authority regarding the estate, a short sale can't be done.  Chase is not considering a short sale at this time, because no one with authority has requested one or submitted the required paper work.

I would think that the only option you would have would be to pay off the loan balance in exchange for the title on the house. You would most likely need some sort of agreement from the estate or work on getting quiet title.

Tyler S. Hi Tyler, there's an abandoned property near me that I'm planning to investigate which makes me curious how your adventure panned out. Were you able to acquire the property?

@Wesley Pittman This is an old thread; notice the date of last, prior post.

Since you're not adding to the old thread, I suggest you start a new thread, in the forum where you think you'll get the most or best responses to your query. 

I can't tell you how many people 'intend' to research or take some other action but don't follow through. They make it easier for me because I do follow through.

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