Hi buying a foreclosed building but has lots of violations. violations went to court and have penalties. Will I be responible for the payments?

Asked by Mikeduntly, Chicago Lawn, Chicago, IL Sun Jul 29, 2012

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Steven Epstein, P.A.’s answer
Steven Epste…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Mon Jul 30, 2012
You should consult a good, real estate attorney, we work with several if you don't already have one, ask me for referrals. Violations may not be liens as yet so won't affect title however you inherit them and should be well aware of the cures & the costs to cure. Hence you may have negotiated a good enough price that you can still profit from the deal. Or you may not have in which case you try to re-negotiate or back-out. Violations that have become a lien are title issues and usually the way to cure is to pay the liens/fines which the seller must do to be able to deliver you insurable title. However there's been issues with local authorities not wanting to give pay-offs until the work to cure has been permitted, re-inspected and the vio/lien solved to their satisfaction and ALL permits are closed. So this is the "catch-22" situation when you may elect to sign a Hold Harmless doc at the closing and be responsible for the cures thereafter ... just be sure you've got your numbers above right ... or walk-away if you feel the deal is no longer good enough for the risk ... Rememberm, sometimes Higher Risk, Higher Reward. Life is always negotiable, so too are these things if you really, really, really, want the property and you're getting it at the "right" price (for you). CONSULT A GOOD REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY and make the deal if you still like it. Need help call us or your own Buyer's Agent/Broker if you're using one. If you bought through the Listing Broker/Agent ... get yourself a good real estate attorne, and either way hire an attorney.
1 vote
Lila Lopez, Agent, South Miami, FL
Mon Jul 30, 2012
Good Morning Mr. Duntly,

Is this a property you are purchasing directly from a lender that was placed on the market for sale as a bank owned property or is this a property that you are buying at auction at a foreclosure sale? There are differences between the two. In the instance of purchasing at auction is that you will not be able to obtain any form of title insurance, and any title liens, city, county code violations would be your responsibility. This is where purchasing at auction a buyer would need to fully investigate a property before purchasing. If on the other hand you are purchasing the home from the bank as a bank owned property , REO, then you would have to refer to the contract that you signed with the bank. There are many instances where the bank does in fact delivery clear and marketable title, and does clear all city/country code violations. However, there are instances in which the property is sold as-is, where-is, with outstanding city/county code violations and fees, and the buyer is responsible for clearing these issues after closing. In most cases the code violations and fees will not keep the bank from obtaining clear and marketable title. If you are not certain, you are truly best served to seek the legal counsel of a real estate attorney that can review all of this information for you. Good luck with your purchase, and just make sure you have done all the "homework" before you close.

Lila Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
1 vote
Jeannette Ba…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Sun Jul 29, 2012
it depends on what type of foreclosure you are buying if its from the tax lien department then lucky you, all liens on a house that goes to foreclosure first for taxes is wiped out. BUT, if its anything other then yes you are responsible. You can always negotiate the penalties... I hope my answer was helpful. Wish you the best! Jeannette Batsikas
1 vote
Pablo Torres, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Jul 29, 2012
Hello Mike,

I have closed foreclosure deals. It is correct, the bank addendums will always "supersede" the original contract. Do not be scared by this. It is also correct, in the fine print, the bank has to give you clear and marketable title.

Make sure to have an experienced real estate agent negotiating on your behalf. Have the bank cover all the violations and penalties.

I would have the bank prepare title and have your attorney review documents and advise you along the way.

If you need anything else, please feel free to contact me.

Kind regard,

Pablo Torres
AF Realty, LLC
1 vote
Matthew Murr…, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Jul 29, 2012
Hi Mike,

In most cases, you will write an offer on your local contract and the bank will negotiate from that until you have a verbal acceptance at which point, the bank will send their own addendum that will over-ride the local contract. Make sure that you read and understand the bank's addendum carefully. Very often, buyers are spooked by the bank's addendum and believe that it is totally in favor of the bank. I'm getting to the answer to your question.... I swear. The bank's addendum will basically say that they can kill the deal anytime that they want. Here's the answer to your question.... the bank in most cases, if not all cases has to give you free and clear marketable title. The title has to be free of any liens, judgements or encumberances.... the penalties that you speak of can fall into any one of those categories depending upon how far along they are in the process. It has been my experience that the only time the bank has ever killed a deal was because they couldn't give free and clear marketable title. Very often they will send these houses to auction if they have "aged out" of the marketing phase. At the auction, often times, the house will appear to have sold only to have the same issue raise it's ugly head. In some cases, the buyer will sign a hold harmless document and buy the house with a lien, judgement or encumberance. That is totally up to you.... if you were my customer, unless it was the deal of the century, I'd advise a pass before agreeing to accept a title with a "cloud".

I have sold over 700 REO properties in Miami and have seen it all. For the record, in my 22 years of working for the biggest bank in the business, they have killed exactly 3 deals over title issues... all in the last 2 years. They have delayed many, many transactions because they had to reforeclose or clear up a title. Most of the buyers hung around until the dust settled and closed with a free and clear, marketable title. By the way, most banks pay for the title policy in an REO transaction. They own their own title companies. The catch is that if you want them to pay for the title policy, you have to close with them. You most certainly can have your own attorney represent you in the closing. A little known fact is that you can also have your attorney handle the closing and sell you a title policy, but all of the title costs will be paid by you, not the bank. You just need to make sure that they know how you want to handle it, well in advance. My advice would be to let the bank close the deal and have your own attorney represent you. He can review the title work and be sure it is satisfactory to you and to advise you as to how to proceed.

Good luck.

Matt Murray CRS, GRI, CDPE
Master Broker's Forum
Pat Dahne Realty Group
Vice President
1 vote
Gustavo Diliz, Agent, Aventura, FL
Mon Jul 30, 2012
Many of these violations, open permits, etc the Bank who is selling the property doesn't take care of these issues. The buyer is the one who needs to take care of them after the closing. So be very careful about the REO properties now-a-days.

Gustavo Diliz
REO Specialist
Yaffe Int. Realty
0 votes
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