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Lynn Gordon, Other/Just Looking in Omaha, NE

My grandma died back in 2005 and i have been living in her house. I owe back property taxes on the house that

Asked by Lynn Gordon, Omaha, NE Mon Mar 30, 2009

i am living in and received a letter saying that we have to pay by a certain date or they were going to forclose on the house. As far as i know my grandmas name is only on the deed. My question is can my grandfater sell it to pay off the back property taxes since my grandma died?

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Hi Lynn,

Are you kidding? You'd sell an entire house in the worst market in ages - merely to pay an overdue tax bill?

You need to talk to a Real Estate ATTORNEY right now - one who specializes in foreclosures. The lawyer can delay things very well, and you'll have options. What you should NOT be doing is talking to an agent about selling it.

Those taxes can't amount to all that much. Don't lose an entire house over some stupid unpaid taxes - do whatever you have to do - get a 2nd job, etc. Band the whole family together on this.

Get this done fast - before someone like me (but much meaner) comes along, buys your tax lien - and then gets to "buy your entire house" for a mere $5-10K.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 30, 2009
My husband is a Estate Planning Attorney/Real Estate Attorney...Sounds like you need to get some legal advice. Please feel free to call. He is licensed in Nebraska, Arizona, Iowa and soon to be Colorado. Please feel free to e-mail him( and he will give you a call back. Just put in subject: Legal Advice needed/referred by Tracy
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Sep 29, 2009
I am working making a mesaely 7.00 an hour just enough to pay the bills my husband is disabled and cant work but yet doesn't qualify for disability. So with my income and the house payment every month we don't even have enough to pay the bills every month. I can rent an apartment for less than what i am paying monthly for a house that is falling apart so yeah if i let it go it wouldnt matter to me and fyi I am not living here for free. I pay rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
I'm confused ... if you "let the house go" then you are going to live ... WHERE for free exactly? So you supposedly can afford to pay rent elsewhere but you can't possibly help to keep the property that's been in your family for generations?

Go get a FREE consult with a real estate foreclosure attorney. Then go out and get jobs - ANY job - BOTH of you - not just him. Do whatever you have to do to keep that house.

The attorney can delay the foreclosure long enough so that you can pay off a few $000 in taxes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 1, 2009
Hi Lynn,
Was there a phone number included in the letter you received? At least give them a call. Ask if you can come in and talk to someone about your situation. Ask them for clarifications and options. Don't feel intimidated by the system. Take charge and defend your own rights and interests. It's worth giving it a try. You never know what happens. I hope you let us all know how it turns out. We're standing behind you and rooting you on!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009

I can't imagine that the amount your grandfther owes in back taxes is enough to just let it go. At the very least your grandfather probably still has the option of selling and being able to put some money in the bank. I would be happy to talk to you and see what options you may have. I can not give legal advice, but I am sure I can help guide you toward a better ending then foreclosure. Fell free to call me at 639-2059 if you would like my help no cost, no obligtion.

Roy Kotz
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Thanks for the help. Since my husband lost his job we don't have the money to pay for an attorney so i guess we will just have to let the house go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Hi Lynn,

It sounds like you haven't spoken with a foreclosure attorney yet. Please do so - right now. Grab the yellow pages and start dialing.

This forum is very useful - but what you need is LEGAL advice, not Real Estate advice. If you do not act quickly, then very bad things will happen. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
The letter was addressed to my grandma or john and jane doe. I'm not sure if a reverse mortgage is an option since my grandfather doesn't live in the house with me. I do know when my grandma died he payed an attorney to put the house in his name and the attorney never did.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
Hi Lynn,
I agree with Jefferson. Visit with a real estate attorney to stop or delay the foreclosure process,find the money you need to pay off the taxes and save the equity in your home.
After reading your question, I have a questions for you. The answers will help clarify your situation.
To whom was the letter addressed, to you? your grandma? or your grandfather? This would determine
who is the legal owner of record?
If it was addressed to your deceased grandma, there may be a problem. You indicated your "grandma's name is the only one on the deed. This means your grandma held the property in severalty. Your grandfather holds a marital interest in the property. Upon your grandma's death, was the property deeded to your grandfather through a will or a trust? And did your grandfather record this deed? Or is title of ownership still being held in probate. These are important questions because your grandfather will not be able to sell this property unless he is the owner or record.
Other questions. Who has been paying the taxes since 2005? Is it possible that they have not been paid since then and that someone purchased your tax lien back then and been making the tax payments. Now after three years, the lienholder is foreclosing on you and not the county?
Why do you say you owe the taxes? You do not owe these taxes unless you own the property.
There are a variety of legal issues involved with your questions. Please seek professional legal advice on this before you proceed further. Maybe, I hope, my questions and concerns are not relevant to your situation.
I do know,however, the issue of ownership is important. Without possessing ownership rights, you do not have the legal capacity to dispose (sell) or encumber (take out a mortgage of any kind) this property.
Best of everything.
Dean Uhing
Prudential Ambassador Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
The answer is yes. However, in addition to a reverse mortgage possibly helping your grandfather financially, he may be eligable for a property tax exemption. NE has what is called a homestead exemption, and if your grandfather is over 65 (some disabilities also may qualify him) and does not make above the maximum income, he may qualify fo thsi exemption. Belwo is a link to the Doglas County websie tht has some info (assumming th hom is in Douglas County).

I hope this helps, andifyou decide selling is better option I woul b happy to help.

Roy Kotz
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
I am in Texas, but I have seen this work here: Have the deeded owner check into a reverse mortgage (if they can be done in NE,) or borrow money from a source to pay off taxes or try seeing if the city will let you hold off on paying taxes while the house is being sold. However, I can't advise you outside Texas. Try the KORN team to help you. Search Brad Korn.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 31, 2009
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