Posted by Dave T on April 09, 2002 at 13:13:04:
I think you are confusing apples with oranges here.
You said that your friends paid into their escrow account on time and that the mortgage company paid the property tax bill. Since the tax bill was paid late, the mortgage company paid all late charges BUT your friends still had to pay the tax bill from their escrow account. They are not out any money here. They still owed the tax bill, even if the bill was paid on time. I get the impression from your post that the amount of the tax bill is $4000.
Later you say that because they could not claim the property tax deduction on their tax return, your friends have a refund that is $4000 less than anticipated. Here is where I get lost. If the tax bill was $4000, then the property tax deduction (in the 27.5% tax bracket) only increases their tax refund by $1100 at best. If your friends happen to be in the 36.1% bracket, then I suspect that their itemized deductions are limited and that they would not be able to take full advantage of the entire property tax deduction anyway. But since you did not give enough specifics to go on here, I am only taking a shot in the dark.
Since your friends did not “pay” their property tax bill in 2001, their deduction can not be claimed until they file their 2002 tax return. If they happen to have a double property tax payment to deduct next year, then they get a little extra in their tax refund next year.
Your original question was “Can you sue a mortgage company over late taxes?”. I still take the position that your friends did not pay any more in taxes than they were obligated to pay in the first place. Since the mortgage company agreed to pay all late charges, your friends are not damaged, and I suspect that a law suit would not have any basis.