I acquired a property through a tax lien sale. The redemption period had expired and the county issued a Tax Deed which was recorded at the courthouse. I now had legal title and possession to the property. Upon getting possession of the property, there was information in the house that gave a phone number of the former owner. I contacted him to tell him about the tax lien sale. The former owner objected to the tax lien process and sued to recover the property. His objection was that he hadn’t received proper notice of the sale. The only address he left with the county tax collector was the address of the property. He lived out of state.
It took fourteen months to get to the actual court date. Court dates can be postponed for very little reason. Court timetables don’t consider cost of money, time or return on investment in their willingness to postpone making a decision. The actual hearing itself is pretty straight forward. The judge determines the facts and based on previous legal decisions decides who gets the legal ownership of the property.
Where possible, negotiating outside the court system is best. Other properties I bought at the tax lien sale were easily resolved when the former owners signed a quit-claim deed, giving up whatever rights they may have had in the property. In one instance, I allowed the former owner to remove some of his personal property from the house in return for signing the form.
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