Owner Died in 2012!

7 Replies


My friend lives right next to a duplex that has been abandoned for years. The owner died in 2012 but the property is still in his name. I have tried to contact his family and left a couple messages with no luck. The bank won't give me any info since I'm not authorized on the account. 
This would be a dream fixer with some serious opportunity. 
Any tips on how to get more info on his estate? Or should I just wait until it forecloses? No idea when that will be, if ever since it has sat for so long already.  The bank is making the tax payments, and is up to date so far. I don't have much more info than that. 
Suggestions?  Thanks!! 

Curious as to how you know it's in foreclosure (versus probate) and how you know the bank is paying the taxes (versus the estate)?

If the seller died intestate (which seems likely given the timeframe, the property will have to work its way through the probate process, then possibly the foreclosure process (once there is an heir/new owner to foreclose upon) - both of which can take months/years.

If you do some digging in the county's public records (google "your county + public records" and then find the probate filings), you should be able to find the attorney who's handling the probate and/or the likely heirs. From there, you can reach out to them and let them know you're interested if/when they decide to sell.

if you are sure that is in foreclosure then look at the mortgage amount and the year the loan originated. It's very possible that the heirs are not responding because they have already determined that there is no equity in the estate. 

However if you check probate and see that the estate was probated then maybe they did so without realizing until after the fact that there was no equity. If that's the case and the estate is probated then they may be willing to get rid of it just to get it off their backs. 

So I would look at the value of the property versus how much the bank is saying is owed (might be listed in the Foreclosure complaint). And then I would check the county surrogate's office to see if the estate has been probated. if there is zero equity and the estate has not been probated then this will likely be a waste of your time as The Heirs have no incentive whatsoever to probate an estate where they're going to receive nothing but a headache.

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Thanks everyone! 

To clarify: By 'bank' I meant the mortgage co. It's not bank-owned and tax payments are up to date. The mortgage co/escrow is paying the taxes... Not sure which person/heir is actually paying; must be some human, right? 

It's just a mystery that no one would want to sell it, especially if they are making payments on it. 

I will look into the probate info and try to find the attorney. 

He also owns the property adjacent - which is his mailing address! We are pretty sure there are squatters in that one - and the cops have been watching. 

Such a shame, on a decent street... :( 

Not giving up yet! Left another message with the Sister after calling the assessor and title co. No one can give me info. I wasn't able to infer any new data from the public records. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with your PETIO acronym. Are those steps to take? If so, I'm still on step P.