Sunday, March 06, 2011

Tax Lien Certificates AND Adverse Possession

Apparently big banks like JP Morgan Chase have started going berzerk buying property tax lien certificates through shadow companies.  The below Alex Jones story bemoans it.

Basically, the realty owner falls behind in property taxes.  This happened to a friend of mine last year.  The county tax collector put tax liens on the property and sold related certificates at auction ON-LINE.  According to state law, she had two years to catch up and in the third year, the certificate holder had the legal right to force a foreclosure sale to collect the money plus interest. 

She had gotten behind TWO years.  At the last minute she used Patriot Myth Magic to pay the taxes.  I won't go into that lurid detail.

Many homeowners don't have such luck and the big banks plan to snatch the houses from them in foreclosure sale for taxes.

Now imagine that you decided to adversely possess your own house after the sheriff or trustee auctioned it off in a foreclosure sale, but the buyer neglected to take possession.  You file a notice of adverse possession and buy your own tax liens with the money you saved on house payments.  A couple of years later you foreclose on yourself (and the rightful owner).

Remember, the tax collector will favor taxes paid by the owner, but an adverse possessor can pay them first, and the tax collector might then return the tax paid by the mortgage servicer from escrow.  That means you will get credit for the payment.  You would take this route if the property had no outstanding tax lien.

In Florida the Adverse Possession period is 7 years and Tax foreclosure period is 3 years.  Which do you like best?  Why not do both?

Yeah, I know.  MUDDY idea.  But, hey, if the big banks can do it why can't you?

The Big Wall Street Banks Have Found A New Way To Strangle The American People: Predatory Property Tax Collection

The Economic Collapse
October 21, 2010

It turns out that the big Wall Street banks have found a dirty new way to make loads of cash from U.S. homeowners, and they really, really don’t want to talk about it.  So what is this dirty new business?  America’s biggest financial institutions have become property tax collectors, and it is extremely lucrative.  From coast to coast, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees. 

In some areas, the big banks are able to foreclose on these homes in as little as six months.  The elderly and the poor are the most common targets of these practices.  An absolutely brilliant expose in the Huffington Post has brought these issues to light, and it is creating quite a controversy in the financial world.  The big banks are doing nothing illegal here.  Local governments are offering to sell thousands of tax liens and somebody is going to end up buying them.  But something seems extremely unsavory about the big Wall Street banks capitalizing on the economic downturn that they were so instrumental in causing in such a predatory manner.


According to the Huffington Post, Wall Street banks such as Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have been gobbling up several hundred thousand tax liens from local governments.  It appears that “distressed housing markets” are being particularly targeted.


Just consider the following tragic storyfrom the Huffington Post article….

Barbara Carpenter, a 58-year-old disabled Ohio retiree, found herself in such a situation. The former worker for the American Red Cross struggled to save her Toledo home from a JPMorgan entity called Plymouth Park Tax Services, which in recent years has been among the nation’s top buyers of tax liens.

“It’s a great neighborhood and the house is in good condition,”said Carpenter, who paid $67,000 for the one-story home in 2004. But she fell behind in paying her taxes and a certificate for $1,500 in unpaid taxes was sold off to Plymouth Park, which is based in New Jersey.

Carpenter’s lawyer, Joseph Westmeyer, said Plymouth Park routinely charges an upfront fee of around $1,500 as soon as it buys the lien and 18 percent interest on the debt. If they don’t get paid, they foreclose.

“It’s not a good deal for poor customers,” said Westmeyer. Carpenter wound up selling the house in August for less than half what she had paid. Plymouth Park received about $12,000 in legal fees and other charges, including some additional taxes, Westmeyer said, quoting from court records.



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