Home Buying in Uniondale>Question Details

Rose142, Home Buyer in New York, NY

How do I find out if there is back taxes owed on a reo property? If a reo "AS IS" property is sold by the bank is the title clear ?

Asked by Rose142, New York, NY Sun Dec 26, 2010

Help the community by answering this question:


The "As Is" typically means if you go forward with the purchase the bank will not fix or repair any problems with the property.

In other words, if you put a property inspection in the agreement of sale as a contingency (something you should definitely do), no matter what problems are found wth the property the bank is stating they will not do anything about it. It is being sold "As Is". Your option, since you did a contingency, would be to walk away from the property or accept it "As Is".

Having said that, I have seen some cases in which the bank will do a repair since it may affect the buyer's ability to get a mortgage.

When you buy a property, you purchase title insurance. Title Insurance guarantees you receive the property free and clean of any liens or encumberances. Back taxes fall into this category. The bank must pay these or make it part of the negotiations (that you will pay them) when you do the agreement of sale.


Joe Finnerty
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
Lehigh Valley Office, PA
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 26, 2010
You can go to the County Assessor website and search by property address to see if the property taxes were paid and current.
Most of tax liens on the REO properties are cleared by the bank that owned REO. You can also search for back tax, lien and judgment on the free real estate information site such as http://www.searchq.com
Web Reference: http://www.searchq.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 12, 2014
A check with your County’s Assessor office (free) and a Title search (not free) should revel whether or not there are any liens on the property, back taxes included. A title insurance should be purchased as well as a part of your transaction just in case something does not get discovered which may happen, but better safe then liable. In most states it’s actually the seller’s responsibility to purchase such insurance for the buyer.

Get an attorney and a Realtor involved to reduce your stress levels, both of them will be a part of your ‘team’, and should be able to get more in depth information for you regarding the property in question.
Web Reference: http://www.dreamtown.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
If you don't yet have an attorney who specializes in real estate, consider hiring one today....he/she can best advise--a title search should really be conducted to make sure no hidder liens exist--keep in mind not all liens may have been filed--consult with your attorney....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
A quit claim deed is VERY RARELY used in NY. Because lawyers are involved in most transactions, they do not recommend this type of deed. It is possible that someone could buy a quit claim on-line, and actually complete it and file it, but that doesn't happen often. Once in a while, if an out-of-state title company prepares a deed adding a spouse onto title, they will use a quit claim.
Dp2, on properties in NYC, you can find a lot of things out about a property through the NYC building department website. All you need is an address.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
Although the statements "[no] property can pass to new buyer [without a] clear title" and "a buyer are not responsible for any liens on property OR taxes" aren't entirely correct, roughly 70% to 80% of the properties sold actually do convey with free and clear title with no back taxes, etc. Yet, properties can be--and are--conveyed all of the time (often via quitclaim deed) without a free and clear title (especially in various creative financing transactions, probates, mortgage/tax foreclosure sales, property swaps, etc), and sometimes with back taxes.

One of my business partners and I were considering buying a county-owned property last month in OH--until we learned that the county intended to collect nearly $6K (roughly 2-3 years worth) in back taxes. We passed on that property, because it wasn't worth that much to us.

Earlier this year, another business partner and I have collaborated on a couple commercial deals in NYC (Bronx borough) and DFW (Dallas county) that were also conveyed with quitclaim deed and similarly encumbered. We rejected them, because we actually wanted the properties to convey with full warranty deeds (due to some of the title clutter that we unearthed during our due diligence), and both sellers balked at our request. The seller in NYC was trying to hide a lot of stuff, and I don't remember the exact reason why the DFW seller balked.

Anyway, Robbin is correct: 1) contact the county assessor for that info, or 2) get that info from your title work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
You can call the Nassau County assessor's office, but I would suggest waiting until tomorrow for that. However, once title is run, you will see what is owed, and the bank will have to clear that at the closing. If the person who originally owned the house was escrowing, then the bank holding the mortgage would have paid the taxes, regardless of whether the mortgagor made monthly payments or not.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
Rose 142:

You asked a couple of questions:

Q: How do I find out if there is back taxes owed on a reo property?
A: Once you get a foreclosed home into escrow, the title company will provide you with a preliminary title report that will clearly spell out any existing liens against the property.

Q: If a reo "AS IS" property is sold by the bank is the title clear?
A: Yes. As stated below, “AS-IS” relates to property condition, not the title. You will be delivered the property free and clear: no lender will even consider lending on a property that has existing liens.

The only way you may end up paying for delinquent taxes, HOA, etc. is if you are an investor and you buy the property wholesale on the courthouse steps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
No property can pass to new buyer unless you have clear title. GREAT MYTH(s) out there YOU as a buyer are not responsible for any liens on property OR taxes.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
Good Morning Rose;
When the property closes you will get clear title to the property with no liens, taxes, etc. due on the property.
Most reo properties are offered for sale in As-is condition which means you are entitled to an inspection but that any repairs may be on your dime.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
Before a property is sold by the bank, the title company makes certain that there are no liens on the property and that you have a clear title. This is often the reason why sometimes bank owned properties can take a little longer to close. If there are any back taxes, HOA fees, outstanding utility bills these are all paid before the closing date by the bank/seller.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference: http://www.DesariJabbar.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 27, 2010
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