Should I try to buy the note on this property?

4 Replies

Hi! I will try to be as descriptive as possible and sorry in advance if this is a long post but looking into this property has been bringing me in circles for quite some time. 

So there is a property that is in my area (NY 5 Boroughs) that I pass quite often and I have noticed to be vacant and boarded up for quite some time. I found out there was a small fire in the second floor of this single family, semi-detached, corner, brick property. The home seems to be structurally sound but that is not my concern yet.

I have done some digging on the property and started on the NY property records website. There was no deed (probably because it was recorded so long ago) so I would probably have to go to the hall of records to find it. However, there were some other documents recorded under this property. They were initial UCC forms which, if I am not mistaken, are lien forms. 

When trying to find the companies that were listed on these documents I also had no luck because these documents are over 20 years old. Although I did manage to pull an address on a holding company which is now the address of where a cousin of mine works. The company was a subsidiary of her current employer and when I asked about the property, she knew the address but informed me that the loan was in default and sold... also about 20 years ago! 

I then searched the property on a tax search website (geodata and realist) and I was able to get the owner's name. After some research I figure the man must be in his 90's and is probably deceased because I had stopped at the property during the winter and the neighbors referred to the son's name as the owner. They said they had not seen him for a few months and they did not seem too happy with him. 

The weird part is that the tax search website did not show a lien or pre-forclosure or any foreclosure history on the property and 99% of the time when a loan is in default I can see that.

After searching the Dep. of Finance I also found that the taxes have not been paid for over a year and are still outstanding. 

I want to take title of this property, because I see a huge financial gain that can be made. However, I am stuck on how to go about that. I know that you could contact the owner and try to negotiate a short sale but it seems to be that the owner has abandoned the property and my efforts of finding him have come up short. 

I am pretty sure that individuals cannot buy tax liens on a property in NYC if I am not mistaken, so that is also out. The only thing that seems to be left is to try to buy the note or lien on the property. My question is, how do I go about that being that there is such minimal information on the property. How do I know if there even still is a lien on the property. My guess would be to contact a title company and see if they can run a lien search for me, but is it worth doing that? What would that cost and can I do that myself? 

I am also not familiar with the legality or ability of purchasing the note in a situation like this. I have read other posts that state information about how to go about purchasing the note but I can cross that bridge when I get there, FIRST I need to find out how I can take legal possession of this property. 

I encourage people to post what you are thinking, however, please do not provide answers unless you are certain you are correct or state that you may not be 100% sure as I do not want to be misinformed. Thanks a lot! I am excited to hear people's insights and hopefully someone has been in a similar situation and knows what to do! =)

Let's simply this, leaving out the narrative.

Vacant property


Owner deceased?

Owner Missing?

Missing mortgage holder (beneficiary)?

Results from Neighbor interviews?

Hi Rick and thanks for answering. 

Yes property is vacant.

Can not find the equity because the UCCs do not have a dollar amount on them.

From what I have found the owner may be deceased but son has been at the property a few months ago. 

Can not find the owner or his son, I have a lead of what may be the owners wife that lives in Florida but I can not be certain that it is definitely her. 

Mortgage holder also can not be found (if there even is an outstanding mortgage any more).

Neighbors did not share much other than the son had been buy the house months ago and they do not come or take care of the property. 

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