Title questions with heirs, judgments, and debt collections agencies

2 Replies

HELP! Complicated title question....

So, I have a property. Sellers inherited it. There are 3 siblings. 1 of the sibling had 3 judgments filed against her when she owned her interest in the house. 2 years later she quit-claimed her interest to one of the other siblings. When title search was done, her 3 judgments showed up, and in NC personal judgments automatically attach to any real property owned by the debtor.

The house is only worth $25K, total amount of judgments is $44K.

The 3 judgments were filed in 2006 & 2007. The creditors are debt-collection agencies that have been very aggressive with their collection methods (we learned this when we pulled the files from the courthouse).... but they don't know that the sibling had an ownership interest in this property.

The creditors are Unifund CCR Partners and Midland Funding in case you've dealt with them before.

So what do you think we should do?
1. Buy the property without paying anything on the judgments and hope the creditors don't find out about it and let the judgments fall off after the statutory 10 year period expires? We would obviously negotiate down a hefty discount for taking the extra risk

2. Wait until the judgments fall off in 1-2 years and then proceed with the purchase hoping the sellers don't find someone else to sell to in the meantime?

3. Contact the creditors and try to negotiate a release fee of some kind? If we do this, then they would be alerted that this property exists as a way of paying off at least some of the amount owed and they might try to force the sale.

4. Something else?

Originally posted by @Joe Myers :

HELP! Complicated title question....

So, I have a property. Sellers inherited it. There are 3 siblings. 1 of the sibling had 3 judgments filed against her when she owned her interest in the house. 2 years later she quit-claimed her interest to one of the other siblings. When title search was done, her 3 judgments showed up, and in NC personal judgments automatically attach to any real property owned by the debtor.

The house is only worth $25K, total amount of judgments is $44K.

The 3 judgments were filed in 2006 & 2007. The creditors are debt-collection agencies that have been very aggressive with their collection methods (we learned this when we pulled the files from the courthouse).... but they don't know that the sibling had an ownership interest in this property.

The creditors are Unifund CCR Partners and Midland Funding in case you've dealt with them before.

So what do you think we should do?
1. Buy the property without paying anything on the judgments and hope the creditors don't find out about it and let the judgments fall off after the statutory 10 year period expires? We would obviously negotiate down a hefty discount for taking the extra risk

2. Wait until the judgments fall off in 1-2 years and then proceed with the purchase hoping the sellers don't find someone else to sell to in the meantime?

3. Contact the creditors and try to negotiate a release fee of some kind? If we do this, then they would be alerted that this property exists as a way of paying off at least some of the amount owed and they might try to force the sale.

4. Something else?

 See if you can get a free consultation with a local Real Estate Attorney who does real estate transactions full-time.

Ask the attorney any additional questions.

Charlotte has great resources.

Anthony 

I agree with @Anthony Davis . Consult an attorney. I would avoid trying to pull one over on the creditors. That could possibly land you in legal trouble. It's possible to contact the creditors but you'd have to have a signed release from the debtor before they will talk to you. Also you may not get very far with them yourself. Aggressive debt collection agencies are going to do everything they can to get as much as they can from the debts they're collecting. I've had to play hardball with some of them personally before.