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Rahul Kanani
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Upset Sale PA, Delaware County - Quiet Title Action & Abandoned Personal Property

Rahul Kanani
Posted Apr 2 2024, 06:05

I have recently received the Tax Deed to a property which I purchased at the Delaware County PA Upset Sale. My plan is to rent out the property and refinance the property as soon as possible. I have a few questions regarding proper procedures to take following a tax sale in order to safeguard the property I have purchased and protect myself from unknown costly circumstances. 

1) Quiet Title Action

Could some experienced PA Tax Sale investors recommend a good attorney they have worked with for completing an action to quiet title procedure. I was recommended by a fellow tax deed investor H. Fintan McHugh from Law Firm of Petrikin, Wellman, Damico, Brown and Petrose. I have also spoken with Lee A. Stivale from Stivale Law and William Vinkso from Vinsko & Associates. Please let me know if anyone has experience working with these individuals or any other good attorneys. Also is it true that in order to refinance the property I will have to wait 1 year minimum even if an action to quiet title procedure has completed prior to being able to take out a mortgage on the property?

2) Renovations 

When would be a good time to begin renovation work following a PA Upset/Tax Sale. Should I wait to begin renovating until I am near the end of the action to quiet title procedure or would it be fine to begin work immediately? Background information - I have secured the property, have changed the locks, and the previous owner has not occupied the property in over 5 years and has mostly likely moved in with her daughter in a different state according to the neighbors. The property is in need of overall cosmetic repairs.

3) Abandoned personal property 

What is the proper procedure for handling abandoned personal property found in the house I have taken possession of? Would it be appropriate to clear the property and remove the personal property in a roll off dumpster? The property has clean but old wooden furniture, a nice china set, clothes, etc. Overall, very neat and clean but I have not found anything of large value such as gold or diamond. I have read online that an ejectment procedure could help with removing risk of wrongfully removing personal property. Also, I have read that a 10 day notice could work.
Title 68 - PA General Assembly (state.pa.us) - For Reference 

4) Utility Bills

Should I change the utility providers to be under my name? Electricity is functional in the property, but I have not gotten the water to work yet.

5) Insurance Policies

I was informed by a fellow tax deed investor to obtain builders risk or vacant property building insurance policy soon after the deed is recorded under my name? Is this a common procedure following an upset sale? Also, should I acquire homeowners' insurance immediately for this property?

6) Umbrella Insurance Policies/LLC

Do most investors have an umbrella policies for personal belongings and assets? Do investors own the properties in individual LLCs which are all owned by a holding company LLC? Do investors use Land Trust when putting name on the deed of a property? Currently I have the property under my personal name - I would like to move it to an LLC but from my understanding when I transfer the deed to an LLC I have to pay transfer tax once again? Is there a way I can move the property out of my personal name without paying transfer tax again? What structures do PA investors use to protect their assets? 

7) Tax Assessment Appeal

I was advised by attorney Lee A. Stivale that a Tax Assessment appeal is possible. I am currently scheduled to have the home appraised in its current condition for this Thursday. Is this something investors commonly go about doing? I was told my legal fees would be around $700 dollars and the appraisal is costing me $550. 

Please provide input if possible. Would really appreciate the advice.

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