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  1. #1
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: New Hampshire

    **

    Hi,

    A friend of mine just received an eviction notice from his town re: a condo that he purchased about 8 years ago.

    The reason? The previous owner owed back taxes! Yet, the bi-yearly tax bill that was sent to the new owner, NEVER had this information! The sale was a private sale, not sure if the new owner had title insurance, etc, on the sale.

    However, wouldn't you think that the LACK of any back-taxes on the yearly tax bill, would be in his favor? The only way he even knew about this.... .was the police showing up! After 8 years, and no prior information!!! Apparently the town says: "Oh yeah, the person in our office working these issues had left, and we've just now caught up with the paperwork". How is that my friends' fault?

    Anyway, I'm looking for advice. In New Hampshire, is the new purchaser of a condo liable for back taxes that a previous owner didn't pay? In the even the answer is yes, should he also be liable for all the interest and late fees, in the event that the town's tax bill showed a zero balance, for 8 freaking years straight? The new amount 'owed' is about 3x the original amount, according to the town. How on earth is that fair, given that there was zero notification for 8 years straight!!!


    Would love to hear any advice you have. Apparently my friend has till end-of-month to vacate! Youch!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    5,177

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    Quote Quoting borisivan
    View Post
    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: New Hampshire

    **

    Hi,

    A friend of mine just received an eviction notice from his town re: a condo that he purchased about 8 years ago.

    The reason? The previous owner owed back taxes! Yet, the bi-yearly tax bill that was sent to the new owner, NEVER had this information! The sale was a private sale, not sure if the new owner had title insurance, etc, on the sale.

    However, wouldn't you think that the LACK of any back-taxes on the yearly tax bill, would be in his favor? The only way he even knew about this.... .was the police showing up! After 8 years, and no prior information!!! Apparently the town says: "Oh yeah, the person in our office working these issues had left, and we've just now caught up with the paperwork". How is that my friends' fault?

    Anyway, I'm looking for advice. In New Hampshire, is the new purchaser of a condo liable for back taxes that a previous owner didn't pay? In the even the answer is yes, should he also be liable for all the interest and late fees, in the event that the town's tax bill showed a zero balance, for 8 freaking years straight? The new amount 'owed' is about 3x the original amount, according to the town. How on earth is that fair, given that there was zero notification for 8 years straight!!!


    Would love to hear any advice you have. Apparently my friend has till end-of-month to vacate! Youch!
    I think that your friend needs to consult a real estate attorney ASAP. If there is a mortgage on this property he could be in a world of hurt here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I've definately recommended he seek an attorney asap, I agree.

    re: mortgage, no. It was paid for in cash, private sale, no real estate agent involved -- about 8 years ago. My friend (the new owner) had been successfully receiving and paying his property taxes to the town on a regular basis, on time. Those bills mentioned nothing re: a previous tax. That's the part that seems very unfair. Perhaps he might be liable re: the previous back taxes if he neglected to verify it was clean before purchasing --- but the late fees + interest really seem inappropriate if the town neglected to notice for 8 years. What if they didn't notice for 40 years? Would he owe 1,000,000 to the town? I'm sure statue of limitations would come into play there, but still, no notification and a clean tax 'bill' seems like good grounds for him to not be liable for all the extra interest.

    Would really love to know what you guys think, all responses really appreciated....!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    This private sale...

    Did your friend run any sort of a title or tax search on the property before buying?

  5. #5
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    Jun 2008
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    4

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    re: title search, etc, Most likely he did not, he's not sure, so I'm assuming he didn't. For that reason, I know that there is a good chance here that he might be liable for those taxes -- i.e. the outstanding back taxes that would have been due @ the time he took ownership. There was an attorney involved, so we are going to look into that.

    The thing that doesn't really seem fair, is that there was no notice from the town for 8 years straight, while they asked him to pay his town property tax twice a year..... that there was anything owed! The tax bill never showed anything. Therefore, demanding interest for unpaid property tax from a previous owner 8 years ago, when the bi-yearly bill showed nothing for 8 years..... really doesn't seem fair. What if they waited 40 years without telling him, would he be out a million dollars?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    Here is what I would recommend.

    Your friend, via his attorney, should pay the back taxes so that he can retain ownership of the condo.

    Then, your friend should sue the previous owner for the tax bill and legal fees.

    You may want to have your friend, via his attorney, notify the previous owner of this plan. The previous owner may want to pay the taxes him/herself and avoid the legal fees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    5,177

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    Quote Quoting cyjeff
    View Post
    Here is what I would recommend.

    Your friend, via his attorney, should pay the back taxes so that he can retain ownership of the condo.

    Then, your friend should sue the previous owner for the tax bill and legal fees.

    You may want to have your friend, via his attorney, notify the previous owner of this plan. The previous owner may want to pay the taxes him/herself and avoid the legal fees.
    That may be valid advice. However, apparently there was an attorney involved in the sale, and therefore I would assume a title company as well, so both of them may have some responsibility here, or may have records that the title was clean.

    Therefore this may be an error on the town's part. He needs to contact that attorney ASAP.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Eviction Due to Back Taxes From Previous Owner

    Hi,

    All excellent advice, thanks. I've advised him to demand the results of the title search frmo the attorney that was used.

    In addition, the state apparently has auditors that each handle a number of cities, regarding their processes re: property tax collection, etc. etc. According to the woman that I spoke with that worked for the state, she recommended that I speak with this person, as she might be able to recommend a course of action, and since she doesn't work for the town, might remove some potential conflict of interest, etc. I'll recommend my friend pursue both immediately.

    Keep the comments coming, really appreciated.

    Would still love to hear an opinion on the 'town didn't mention anything while successfully collecting taxes for 8 years' angle on this....

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