Vacant House / Deceased Owner / Delinquent Taxes Question

2 Replies

Hi BP, 

I have a question and hope someone can provide some further insight and possible suggestions. In researching my returned mail addresses from vacant houses, I found that the owner of one house is deceased and still owes two years worth of property taxes. The title is still in her name. I located the daughter (next of kin) and she wants nothing to do with the property. I also called down to the county probate office to see whether I could find the attorney or any other executors to the will, and they don't have a file or cause number under her name. The house is boarded up and in terrible shape. Any possible recommendations on a next step in trying to get this property?

Your returned letter is referred to as a 'nixie' in the direct response mail world.

Many years ago I coined the term 'pre-probate' to describe any scenario such as yours that refers to real estate vested in name of deceased person prior to filing any probate court action.

While this may appear to be an anomaly to you, I've made (and kept) several fortunes from capitalizing on the exact situation you've encountered. 

Absent waiting for tax sale and buying that way, someone will need to probate the decedents estate and settle secured (and unsecured) debts and claims. 

If Daughter wants nothing to do with this property, you could stand arrange to stand in her shoes and probate yourself or contract to buy from her after helping her complete probate. 

I've worked from both angles and I can tell you that there's a balance between control and fiduciary responsibility. Lots to consider and quite a steep learning curve for you, I'll bet.

@Rick H.

Rick, thank you so much for your insight and feedback. You are absolutely correct, it is a steep learning curve but I do think it could prove to be a lucrative endeavor so will see if the daughter would be willing to probate if I offer my assistance. 

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