tax liens/ zombie houses

7 Replies

i have an interesting question for anyone who can educate me on this. here is the scenario:

i have found a " zombie house". owner moved out when the bank started foreclosure. the bank is not maintaining the property and has not completed the foreclosure process and taken title. the house is in disrepair and i am thinking the bank does not want to foreclose and take possession because the place is no where near the amount of money they would need to get out of it. 

my question. if i were to purchase the legal owners intrest in the house, could i push a foreclosure on the house and force the bank to act, or not act on their intrest? if they do foreclose, at least we have pushed it to that point. or, if they do not act, could i complete a foreclosure on my end and get the house?

the bank has NOT paid this years taxes. could i purchase the tax and put a lien on the property and force a foreclosure that way?    

any help would be greatly appreciated.    thanks to all. btw, we are talking the western new york area

If you can work with the owner to let you do repairs on the house(like roof repairs so that the condition ceases to degrade) you could then file a mechanics and foreclose on that lien.

Generally no, but there may be creative ways via?

No.  To be more specific.  

If the owner gives you title, you can't foreclose since you don't hold a mortgage.

You can't force the bank to do anything, and when they foreclose you'd be wiped out too.

Tax lien sale procedures are area specific, and you'll have competition.

Even if you had a mechanics lien it'd be useless, as the mortgage is superior to you and it would stay.

Originally posted by @Wayne Brooks :

No.  To be more specific.  

If the owner gives you title, you can't foreclose since you don't hold a mortgage.

You can't force the bank to do anything, and when they foreclose you'd be wiped out too.

Tax lien sale procedures are area specific, and you'll have competition.

Even if you had a mechanics lien it'd be useless, as the mortgage is superior to you and it would stay.

 Thank you for clarification about the mechanics lien behind banks lien.  

I suppose one could use a mechanics lien to initiate foreclosure?  or just small claims.  You would be out the foreclosure costs but should get back your $ for a mythical mechanics lien.  In addition there are better ways usually.

thanks to all for the advice. i really hate to see the property continue to fall into disrepair, but if the bank isn't going to do anything about it, well, there is not much i can do either. at this point, the bank appears to have sold the mortgage to another bank, or financial institution which just happens to be a subsidiary of the first bank. the taxes were paid, but nothing toward the mortgage has taken place. the owner moved out back in 2009 after he filed bankruptcy. he at one point agreed to sell me his interest in the house for $1000, but it sounds like that would be a waste of time and money at this point

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