Looking to acquire an abandoned house owned by a holding company

13 Replies

Good afternoon everyone, 

I am new to the real estate game. I am so happy that I discovered the bigger pockets community. I have found a lot of useful information that has helped me to better understand the real estate industry. I still have a lot to learn, but I am excited. I am looking to acquire an abandoned property as my first investment. The previous owner had no mortgage and passed away over 3 years ago. He was my grandfathers neighbor for many years. He had no immediate family, and no will. I've looked on the local tax assessors website, and from what I can tell the property is owned by a holding company in Nebraska. I was wondering if anyone had any previous experience with this? I am assuming the holding company just purchased the tax lien. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Also, I am located in Lafayette, LA.

Josh,

I appreciate your hustle.  But I agree with Judy.  Google the holding company and get their contact information.  Give them a call/e-mail/letter.  Also call the local county office to see if they can help.  If it is a small town and they see that you are just starting out and a good guy, they should be happy to help you.  

To answer your question, based on what you said the Holding Company AND the estate of the dead guy owns the property.  So just ask these good questions to the right people.

good luck

I'm very familiar with the "holding company from Nebraska." It's a huge tax lien investing outfit. They will ask you to sign a document to accept their definition of "merchantable title." Nevermind the legal definition that already exists - it is legal for you to voluntarily accept their definition. Their definition of merchantable title says that you accept that when you buy it, the one title company (that was just created a couple of years ago), will write a title policy on the property. That doesn't mean that any other title company will ever give you a clear title to the property.  

If you are buying with cash, nothing will stop you from buying the property.  However, if you want to buy with financing, the lender will require a lender's title policy and that might be a problem.  Also, if you want to refinance or sell the property, you might have a problem.

I don't have any kind of affiliate relationship with them, but I recommend that you close this deal through Bradley Moreau Title (or another reputable title company) to be certain that you have a good clear title to the property before you buy it.

Robert,

 Thanks for the information. Being new to real estate, the terminology is probably what scares me the most. I was hoping this would be my first attempt at the brrrr method. That being said, I surely do not want to run into any title issues. 


 How does purchasing the property from these Lien investment companies usually work? Do they own the property out right? Also, does Louisiana have a grace period for any heirs to try and regain ownership of the property that was bought via this method? I’m trying do as much research as I can on this topic, but it seems like tax lien properties are a long drawn out process, especially for someone who is new to real estate. 

Property owned by "holding company from Nebraska." will require you to make an offer to them for the property.  They will want the offer to be at least double the amount they have already paid in taxes and liens. 

If they bought the property at Sheriff's tax sale more than 3 years ago then yes they own the house as a matured Tax Deed.  If there are no heirs then their title is uncontestable in court.

You could elect to pay off the back taxes owned if the property is less than 3 years behind on tax dues.  However, you would not have a way to claim the home yourself with a deed.

Did you know that Sheriff's tax titles & deeds that are issued for non-payment of taxes are one of the best ways to reclaim abandoned properties?  Without this legal process numerous homes and properties would remain abandoned forever with no clear way for someone to claim possession if the former owner has no heirs.

@Joshua Romero

Hey man, what’s the address? I can help you do some digging on the property. I might even know the holding company and can get you in contact with them directly. Also I can show you how to go through the online deeds to see exactly how the property what handled.

Seriously, let me know if I can help.

Here is the formal clearing house for the Nebraska property company, please note that buying tax titles in Louisiana adds additional title insurance costs for you and any future buyer.  Full disclosure about the source of your deed to future buyers is essential.

My dealing with this company have shown that they ask higher prices than what they have invested so far.  

TAX TITLES FOR SALE:

https://www.usassets.net/TaxCe...

PROPERTIES FOR SALE:

https://www.usassets.net/Prope...

Thanks everyone for the help. The Holding company is Abigail land holdings. I have tried to contact the attorney that is listed as an agents, but i have gotten no response.  I will keep at it, and hopefully something will come of it. I feel like there is a good opportunity with this house, but I'm not sure how costly it would be to get a free and clear title if I am able to make contact with anyone.

Originally posted by @Joshua Romero :

Thanks everyone for the help. The Holding company is Abigail land holdings. I have tried to contact the attorney that is listed as an agents, but i have gotten no response.  I will keep at it, and hopefully something will come of it. I feel like there is a good opportunity with this house, but I'm not sure how costly it would be to get a free and clear title if I am able to make contact with anyone.

 Hey Josh! Any success? This is such an interesting thread.

We recently learned about succession - which ended up being a three year process!

Originally posted by @Reuben Gathright :

Property owned by "holding company from Nebraska." will require you to make an offer to them for the property.  They will want the offer to be at least double the amount they have already paid in taxes and liens. 

If they bought the property at Sheriff's tax sale more than 3 years ago then yes they own the house as a matured Tax Deed.  If there are no heirs then their title is uncontestable in court.

You could elect to pay off the back taxes owned if the property is less than 3 years behind on tax dues.  However, you would not have a way to claim the home yourself with a deed.

Did you know that Sheriff's tax titles & deeds that are issued for non-payment of taxes are one of the best ways to reclaim abandoned properties?  Without this legal process numerous homes and properties would remain abandoned forever with no clear way for someone to claim possession if the former owner has no heirs.

 They wont technically own the property after 3 years unless they filed (and won) the suit to quiet title.  These companies LOVE Louisiana and they will infiltrate just about every parish's property tax sale. They will hire agents if needed to go in and bid for them for the in person tax sales. They want to make the % on interest and try to bid just on properties that will be redeemed. They will bid down to 1% at the auction if needed to try to get as many properties as possible, which the rest of us local buyers really don't like them much lol. They don't actually want to deal with the properties they are there to make the interest.  (1% a month plus 5% initial) Where else can you get a return like that investing cash on a very non risky investment. I've added up where they have spent over a million dollars just at the St Tammany property tax sale from one year.

I've never tried to buy from them but have come across some properties they have gotten stuck with, that wouldn't be a bad deal just paying them back 2x what they have tied up in tax payments. I've also bid on properties they won but let go the following year. For example, this one property was assessed as having an improvement on the land (house) and the tax bill was about $1800. They won it at auction paid on it for a couple years then let it go back to tax sale. After investigating I noticed there was no building on the property, and it looked like nothing had been there for years (most likely there was a fire or it had been destroyed by a storm). I got the property at the next tax sale, went to the assessor and had them send someone out to  verify the improvement was no longer there. They readjusted the property taxes and now it's only costing me a couple hundred a year. The owners have been out of the picture for several years so it shouldn't get redeemed now. Value of the land is worth about 25K, not a home run but a good pick up. 

Originally posted by @Joshua Romero :

Thanks everyone for the help. The Holding company is Abigail land holdings. I have tried to contact the attorney that is listed as an agents, but i have gotten no response.  I will keep at it, and hopefully something will come of it. I feel like there is a good opportunity with this house, but I'm not sure how costly it would be to get a free and clear title if I am able to make contact with anyone.

 Yeap, Abigail is one of the many names they go by. How did it work out for you?

You are not going to get "clear title" per say, since this is a property that was acquired from a property tax sale. If there was a suit to quiet title and judgement then you will get merchantable title and will be the legal owner. The problem is with title insurance companies and there wont be many options for you when it comes to getting title insurance. US National is one of the only title insurance companies that will write policies on these properties. Depending on the situation you may be able to get another company to write but it would take some title curative work.

What are you intentions with the property. If you want to live in it for a long time or rent it out ? Are you paying case for it or will need to get a mortgage. Depending on what you plan on doing the title insurance part might not be that big of an issue for you to deal with.