What is the risk? - Posted by Rich Hyams

Posted by JK on July 28, 2003 at 03:36:07:

You have to be careful. She should do the quiet title action and not you, because if someone comes out of the blue and challenges the title (past creditor, judgmemt holder, mortgagor, etc.) it can run you a bundle in legal fees, and you might lose the property to the claimant!!

What is the risk? - Posted by Rich Hyams

Posted by Rich Hyams on July 06, 2003 at 14:31:13:

It turns out that this house was bought at a tax sale and quiet title action was never done. I have an idea that there are few(one) survivors and believe the owner dies AFTER being notified of the lien, not sure when she died in relation to the sale.

I have lowered my offer tentatively to 34.5k, 4k less for what I believe will be 2k cost and 90-120 day wait.

I didn’t realize how long it would take and will probably come back another 2k lower because of the time involved. Let’s just say that it works, even that it works at the 2k lower for a buy of 32.5k + 2k quiet title action cost.

The one survivor that I believe is around is a mid 50’s homeless, alcoholic gentleman who is the only owner’s son. The good part is that this house only had one owner from when it was built in '55 till the tax deed was bought in early '02.

Now let’s say junior sees the legal notice and in a fit of lucidity that he hasn’t seen in years, thinks he was wronged, finds someone at his church to financially back him, goes to court, we find out that there was a problem with notification and junior get’s the original tax sale overturned.

What happens?

I am in South Florida.

Am I left with nothing but a canceled check?

Re: What is the risk? - Posted by I.R.

Posted by I.R. on July 06, 2003 at 15:17:06:

I’d talk to somebody knowledgeable at the tax office whose lien you bought. That’s the source of your title, not the previous owner.

It could be that the tax lien you bought, comes with a title policy thereon, guaranteeing title; or could be that tax sale, by FL law, eliminates all prior claims unless they step forward at tax sale and bid or buy,themselves, in order to protect their lien positions.

If this would be any great deal for you, I’d think it’d be worth a few bucks to hire an experienced FL RE lawyer to do a couple of hours research and give you the FL law on it.

Re: What is the risk? - Posted by Tom-FL

Posted by Tom-FL on July 06, 2003 at 15:42:41:

There was a previous post somewhere. He did not buy at tax sale. The seller did, and never filed to quiet title.

Re: What is the risk? - Posted by Rich Hyams

Posted by Rich Hyams on July 06, 2003 at 18:39:46:


My decision is this, tomorrow the woman who bought it at tax sale over a year ago, never did the quiet title action. Tomorrow, she is going to come back with an answer. She will either decide to quiet the title herself, she says she can do it for twelve hundred…but she is leaving, so I think she is motivated. I have an off the cuff offer in at 34.5k, 4k less than the standing offer that she had accepted. She accepted it with an addemdum to the contract that said that I would accept her “Special Warranty Deed” without objection…obviously, I won’t.

So now if she takes my 4k lower offer to accept her “Special Warranty Deed”, I am wondering what my risks are.

My attourney said that 98% of the time there are no objections when quieting the title and when there are, 90% of those go away with a couple hundred bucks…the son I know about is a 55 or so year old homeless drunk gentleman who would give me a limb for $100. I don’t forsee a problem there.

But what if junior wakes up and really tries to do something?

Is my new attourney’s opinion that there aint no problem, or at least its very remote, valid?

He is the title attourney for one of the mortgage/real estate companies that I have as clients. The same company that gave me this lead. They swear by him, he seems on top of his game to me.

Re: What is the risk? - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on July 06, 2003 at 20:57:56:

What’s the deal? Either you got the deal or you do not. In one post you say something about you got it and are trying to sell it and in the next you say some more stuff about not accepting a special warranty deed and follow that with some more about what if I accept.

Tell us…Do you have the deal? Are you playing CYA?

Give us something concrete…to respond to…we could “What if it to death and never get it resolved.”


Re: What is the risk? - Posted by Rich Hyams

Posted by Rich Hyams on July 06, 2003 at 22:15:30:

We did have a deal. She accepted my offer of 38.5, I signed the contract and sent it back to her, it went to her attourney and came back with an addendum that said that I would accept her “Special Warranty Deed” without objection.

I found out that she bought it at a tax sale…no, I knew that she bought it at a tax sale, but I was totally unaware of this ‘quiet title action’ and its need to get done. Luckily, I spoke with someone who told me about being careful with this with a person who bought at tax sale. After getting an idea of the title history and the number of heirs the original owner had and getting a ball park cost of 2k to do the quiet title action, I came back to her.

I told her that I would accept her title but now the offer is 4k less. I am thinking that because of the time involved, 9–120 days, I should have offered somewhat less.

My question for all you experienced people out there is:

If I accept her “Special Warranty Deed” that is not marketable and not insurable and begin the quiet title action myself and junior starts piping up and it turns out that someone wasn’t notified of something at the proper time during the tax-lien to tax-sale process and they actually overturn the tax sale or whatever it is that they would do, am I left with nothing but a canceled check?

Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that.

I know, I was talking about selling it before I actually had a fully executed contract, but many have told me, and it also seems to be a common belief here, that you should have an exit strategy before committing yourself completely.