Title problem to a Free House - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by JD on December 22, 2000 at 20:18:27:

(assuming you could buy the tax lien) Why would buying the tax lien and then foreclosing on it be in any way a risk?

Title problem to a Free House - Posted by Paul_MA

Posted by Paul_MA on December 22, 2000 at 19:18:20:

My city put out a list of abandoned, unoccupied and boarded up houses and vacant lots. They held a few public meeting with the intent, I believe, of enticing people to search out the owners and do something with these buildings.

So I did.

One of the properties has two houses on one lot. The owner said he would give it to me, subject to the taxes in arrears and closing costs.
It is a fixer-upper.

Here is the problem:

The owner had a mortgage for 120k placed on the property in 1985 with Boston Five Cents Savings. Citizens Bank bought the Boston Five. After 2 or 3 years of paying the mortgage, the owner recieves a Discharge of Mortgage. Knowing that the bank made a mistake, he didn’t say a word. The bank finally realized their mistake and reversed the situation. Now the mortgage is back on again. The owner moved out of state and decided to let the property go to foreclosure. It never happened. The owner said that no foreclosure auction maybe due to the underground oil tank which overflowed a bit when the fill spout was broken off and the rain filled and overflowed the tank.

Anyway, the mortgage has been sold a few more times, and when he called the bank to find out about it, no one had a clue. He said he checked with all those who had the mortgage by assignment. So the mortgage is basically lost.

Together, we are trying to come up with a plan to transfer the property.

One suggestion is to buy the tax lien and then foreclose on the tax lien. But the risk on me is spending 8k to buy the tax lien, and then the mortgage comes back from the dead.

Any other suggestion? Can I try the quiet title avenue?

Thanks in advance for any comments or solutions.

Get your title company tohelp you(nt) - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on December 23, 2000 at 18:34:08:


The tax lien idea is a good one… - Posted by Ben (NJ)

Posted by Ben (NJ) on December 23, 2000 at 07:17:09:

since you have priority over the mortgage you would just wipe it out by the foreclosure. At worst, the mortgage holder would pay you off in full. You could probably even get a discount on the tax lien and then if you get paid off you would make the spread. i agree with the others though, the contamination problem is more serious.

Re: Title problem to a Free House - Posted by will

Posted by will on December 23, 2000 at 03:06:45:

decontamination costs major bucks and might involve some headaches .i would pass on this one .

Re: Title problem to a Free House - Posted by B.L.Renfrow

Posted by B.L.Renfrow on December 22, 2000 at 23:00:56:


I see no one has mentioned the underground oil tank issue. To me, that would seem a far bigger problem than the lost mortgage. Since there was a known spill, couldn’t you end up liable for extensive (and expensive) clean-up under EPA regs if you take title?

Brian (NY)

Re: Title problem to a Free House - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 22, 2000 at 20:31:29:

Find out if the statute of limitations has run on the mortgage. When was the final payoff date?