How could I assume a property that has tax liens if the owner is dead and there are no other living relatives? 13 Answers as of July 06, 2015

The house has been sitting since 2012. Neighbors have known deceased property owner for decades. There are no known relatives. The house is back in taxes and has it in collections. How do I get the deed transferred into my name to become owner?

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O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if the deceased owner had title to the property at death then someone will likely need to administer that person's estate to obtain authority as a personal representative to transfer title to the property. Be aware that delinquent real estate tax usually needs to be paid prior to transferring real estate.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 7/6/2015
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California there are several things that must be shown before property can be acquired by adverse possession. It takes several years (5, I think) during which any relative can assert a superior claim of right. It ends with a declaratory relief action in court. Unless you are well versed in real property law and civil procedure you are well-advised to employ an attorney early in the process, before expending significant funds or exposing yourself to charges of criminal trespass. It is a "disfavored" action, but it can be done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/30/2015
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
There will eventually be a tax sale. You can bid on it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2015
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
You buy it at tax sale.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/29/2015
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Occupy it, pay the taxes and, after 7 years, file a suit to quiet title.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Usually, if there are on-going, unpaid tax liens, the taxing entity will eventually put the property up at a tax sale. You can purchase it that way (process takes 3+ years). Or the taxing entity may be willing to sell it to you outright, if it can make a valid claim of ownership of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    The house belongs to somebody. First, it would be necessary to hire a lost heir firm and search for relatives. Then you could work out a deal with the relatives and the county for title and paying off the taxes. If you can't find any relatives, then the house belongs to the state. You'd have to make a deal with the attorney general to buy the house.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    A first step will be to go to the county appraiser's office give them the address of the property and pay the back taxes. I'm not sure whether each county have particular procedures and or laws concerning property that taxes are owed. Ask them in the office how it is you can assume the property for yourself. It may entail a probate in court.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    Purchase the taxes at the tax sale and follow the statutory procedure to become the owner. Otherwise you would have to track down distant relatives and get them to open a probate so you could purchase the property out of probate.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    The only way would be to buy it from the former owner's estate. It sounds as though you think you can just get it by paying the back taxes but that only occurs if you are the high bidder in a tax sale by the county. Who were you intending to get title from? if in fact there are absolutely no relatives, the property goes to the state.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Get an attorney and file for probate. You may not get it free and clear but if you really want it you can probably get a deal. Otherwise wait for the tax sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/29/2015
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    The simple answer would be to take possession of the property and go to the local assessor?s office and pay the taxes for 5 years, then go to court and have the title transferred to you based on adverse possession. You should check with a local attorney to make sure. If the property goes to a tax sale you might get it, but I?m sure there would be competition at the sale.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Obtain yourself a probate lawyer to probate the property to determine if there are any heirs, as the property will have to be sold to the highest bidder with the taxes being paid out of the sale proceeds with proceeds being divided between heirs if any, otherwise going to the state. You could earn a probate fee, and maybe bid on the property, if the court permits.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/26/2015
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