Next step intent to foreclose tax lien comes back undeliverable

5 Replies

New to foreclosing vacant land in Navajo Co, Arizona.  One of my tax lien Intent to foreclose notices came back "vacant", another "undeliverable as addressed, unable to forward" (both addresses were addresses on file with Navajo County and where notices had to be sent).  I assume I must try to track down the owners or heirs, if deceased (one is deceased) and send new Intents to Foreclose with new 30 day or greater dates with intent to file the foreclosure action?  Or can I just file the foreclosure action to the heirs of the deceased "vacant" one (I have found them, having talked to a relative who gave me the heirs' names) without sending a new intent to foreclose?  Does anyone have experience with this?  Thanks.   

What do your state law and court procedures say? In my area keeping the return envelopes and filing them with the court is fine. However it could be very different where you are.

If you don't know, then respectfully I suggest you should not be doing this yourself. This is why I would never do a foreclosure myself. If the deal won't justify paying the legal fees it is probably not worth doing at all. 

I agree with @Ned Carey .  I recently foreclosed in NJ on a vacant piece of land.  While we are in different states, I am sure that the laws are similar.  Have you done a title search?  Are there any there parties that have an interest on the property that would have a right to redeem the lien?  

Even after you effect foreclosure, again, this is in NJ, the land owner can go to court 90 days after foreclosure and show the judge proof that they have the money to pay the lien amount.  There is no judge that won't give the owner the opportunity to get their property back.  Then the foreclosure can be challenge up to 1 year on the foreclosure being executed properly (notifications, letters, complaint servicing, etc...).  

It cost about $3,000 for me to foreclose.  I can't imagine it be that much more in AZ.  You just need an attorney that knows what they are doing since this tax liens are somewhat of a specialty for attorneys.

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    Thanks. I studied the statutes and determined what to do and what Ned Carey said about the return envelopes being proof is the case also here to.   It is just required to send the Intent to the owner's address of record with the recorder, assessor, and on tax roll records and then after that step is done, do a title search (seems backwards but the self help packets from the courts - below - are very clear on the order of the "steps") and determine who else you may need to send intents to.

   In this part of Arizona, since there is so much vacant "useless" land that people just let go, not realizing what they got - remote, off grid land, with no water and in many cases no roads to them -  when they purchased it for pennies, it is common for "hobby" investors to foreclose on their own, so much so that many counties have self help packets to foreclose the properties which is what I am interpreting.  Yes, I have done title searches.  Many counties in Arizona have online systems they advise to use in the self help packets.  

My intent is not to make a profit as most investors but to add lands to a non-profit I am forming for Christian artists to paint and create works on in an artist in residence program.  Also to preserve the vast, remote, and unpopulated  lands of the painted desert and petrified forest like some of the large ranch  land owners are doing. So the question of it being "worth" it, isn't an issue.  It's worth it when the lands are of the aesthetic value we are looking for and/or adjacent to my own holdings in different parts of the painted desert.  Still the resale value would make even $3,000. in legal fees profitable, however, since I don't intend to resell I'm keeping costs down by doing it myself, like many other legal matters I have done pro se.  And if the owners choose to redeem, I'm fine with that too and like the court give them the opportunity to do so.  There are a few developed properties and I don't invest in those, not wanting to put anyone out of their homes.

I really appreciate this forum and the assistance that everyone is so willing to give.  Thanks again.

@Karen D. Schiano In your case doing it yourself is a reasonable choice. Keep in mind you may also need to check for judgements against the owner or other records.

In your case it may not matter but judgement holders have a claim against titled properly in most if not all states.