Friday, December 05, 2008

okay, title folks, what do YOU think about this one...

Earlier this year we insured a purchase of property in a REO transaction.  The county tax claim bureau sent a tax certificate to the Sheriff's office but the Sheriff forgot to pay the taxes out of the proceeds.  Our abstractor noticed this and discussed it with the Sheriff's folks and they said sorry but the lenderr who bought back the property at the sale took it subject to the delinquent taxes.

Our abstractor checked tax claim and reported taxes owing for years 2003 thru 2008.  The REO seller paid the taxes at closing and we insured.

Last month our insured buyer got a notice from tax claim that 2002 taxes are still due and will move to a tax sale later in the year.

Our abstractor goes back to see what happened.  You need to know that the structure on our insured real estate is a doublewide.  Turns out that this doublewide was on a rented lot in 2002 and was assessed with its own parcel number in 2002.  

Tax claim says the old parcel number for the DW was merged into the parcel for our insured land when the trailer was moved.  We checked.  There is no notation of a merger.  There is nothing an abstractor could have been expected to find to tell them this.  It was an entirely different tax parcel number on different land.  It could have been a different DW.  There's really no way to know.

What do you think?   Any thoughts?

Right now the matter is in the hands of our underwriter's claim department but I am curious to hear your comments.


Anonymous said...

I probably shouldn't try to answer this because I don't think I'm understanding all the facts, but I can't resist because of who you're up against. A tax authority. They say more is owed; they say a tax sale is coming up. I say there's nothing you can do except pay them and try your best to get SOMETHING in writing that says it's all good now. Short hairs, anyone?

Anonymous said...

In Ohio, the owner of the double-wide has to file an application to convert the personal property (mobile home) to a fixture in order to effectuate the merger. Does the taxing authority have such documentation? If not, does PA statute/code give any direction on this? Did the taxing authority provide proper notice of the merger to the owner at the time? Sounds like the local taxing authority has some backlog issues, since the 2002 payoff figure wasn't quoted with the original payoff. Ultimately, the owner will have to pay if required, but it is worth a fight.