General Alabama Question

3 Replies

This is a broad question and I'm not sure if I have the correct words to ask, but I'll try.  

If I have a tax deed, and I have removed any questions about possession, either by having the taxpayer sell me his remaining interest, or by a successful ejectment, what do I then have in terms of ownership?  

Is it then my house in every "normal" real estate sense of that word, except for having a clear title?  I can sell it as "normal" real estate except that the buyer can't get a loan to pay for it?

Am I still on some clock?  May I immediately seek to clear title or must I wait?

@Arnold Finkelstein , @Greg Parker

"If I have a tax deed, and I have removed any questions about possession, either by having the taxpayer sell me his remaining interest, or by a successful ejectment, what do I then have in terms of ownership?"

  • You have ownership if you have a tax deed. You have lawful possession only with an ejectment. Both your ownership and your possession can be terminated if there is a redemption.  If all owners (meaning all heirs, if the assessed owner died) sign quitclaim deeds and all lienholders either release their redemption rights are have failed to redeem during the period of one year after you send them certified mail return receipt request notice, then there are no more redemption rights and you are not in danger of losing the property.

"Is it then my house in every "normal" real estate sense of that word, except for having a clear title? I can sell it as "normal" real estate except that the buyer can't get a loan to pay for it?"

  • It is your house. You can easily buy insurance for it. You can rent it out on Section 8. You can sell it. If there are still possible redemption rights, you should not give a warranty deed and neither the buyer nor its lender will be able to get title insurance.

"Am I still on some clock? May I immediately seek to clear title or must I wait?"

  • Under most judges' interpretation of the law, currently, you must have three years of exclusive possession of the property after the tax deed date before you can quiet title.  I can successfully argue otherwise, but that's a whole different matter.  Hopefully the Alabama Supreme Court will rule soon on this issue and clear things up for everybody.

Would not lawful possession also come from the owners/lienholders signing quitclaim deeds?  With the property I'm presently dealing with, there is only one owner and no lienholders.  If this owner quitclaims to me, is the result not the same, legally, as a successful ejectment?