Tax Liens, Notes, Paper, and Cash Flow Discussions

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Ryan Normand
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
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Can I purchase a property that has a tax lien on it?

Ryan Normand
  • Contractor
  • Arizona
Posted Jul 7 2022, 20:06

For the past month I've been communicating with the owner of a piece of vacant land in Gila County, AZ. The owner wants to get rid of the land and I want to buy it. The land has a tax lien on it, which I plan to pay off as soon as I purchase the property. The owner wants to do a quit claim deed, which I understand is risky, but it's a very small dollar amount so I'm ok with the extra risk in this instance. I've already verified the deed with the Gila County Recorder's office and done an MLS search - the person I am working with is the one and only owner and I already know about the lien, so I feel comfortable doing a quit claim.

But here comes the catch 22 - According to the Gila County Treasurer's Office, the current owner cannot sell the property to me before the tax lien is paid off. At the same time, I am not allowed to pay off the tax lien unless I have a vested interest in the property (i.e. until after the current owner has sold the property to me). Basically, I can't do A until I complete B, and I can't do B until I complete A. Aghhhhh...

Is there a way for me to purchase the property, record the new deed, and pay off the lien at the same time? Or am I going about this in the wrong order? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Phoenix, Arizona

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