Understanding Judgments and Lawsuits
When a tax sale is held and a lawsuit number is purchased for an amount that is less than the total due (plus interest and fees) the property can be sold at a public sheriff sale. This does not mean that you cannot legally buy back your property after the Sheriff sale. Many owners are very surprised to learn of this option and may even want to try and get their homes sold before the scheduled tax sale date. The key is to do your homework and understand the legal description of the properties you are interested in so that you have the right questions to ask and the right strategy to pursue when you contact the tax lien holders or buyers and are looking for assistance.
A lawsuit number shows that the owner filed the first lawsuit against the property and received a settlement from the buyer.
In most cases the tax lien holders are willing to settle out of court if the owner promises not to bring more lawsuits against them. For any lawsuit that was filed against the property and is still pending, there is no judgment yet received and no settlement has been received. If this is the first lawsuit, then the case number is the only proof of the ownership and nothing else is needed.
If there is a second lawsuit filed against the same property, the first lawsuit must be dismissed.
This is usually done by the Sheriff when they receive a complaint from another party. There will be an order to show cause issued by the Judge. The reason for the dismissal comes from, how it is not clear who should be responsible for the payment on the balance of the tax lien. The Sheriff will make a decision as to who should pay for the first lawsuit and then process the money from that point forward.
If you are buying any property, you will need to know about the property’s past.
You will need to know all of the legal names and last years on the tax roll. If the property is a single family home, you will have to know the names of the people who lived in the property and who the last three digits of their social security number are. A bank account with a specific amount is usually listed and you can check it out as well. This information should be provided to you upon request, so that you can have the necessary information when you buy the property.
A judge will issue a written ruling that will be called a “Declaration of Judgment”.
This is one of the main documents that you will need to obtain a judgment of foreclosure. A plaintiff will have to pay a lot of money to start the process of taking care of the judgment and this is where the money for sale comes from. A plaintiff can also sell a lawsuit if they do not have enough money in their pocket to cover the expenses.
If a property has been sold and you still owe any of the outstanding taxes, interest and penalties, you should still get copies of all of the papers that you need.
An individual will have to pay these amounts before the sale can go through. If you pay the necessary amounts on time, the creditor will have no choice but to go into a “cash out” auction and sell the property under pennies on the dollar. However, if you miss your payments, the court can legally levy your assets as part of the proceeds of the sale. There are other legal descriptions for this event and you can talk with a lawyer about it. This article just gives an outline of the basics when it comes to dealing with judgments and you should take the advice of a lawyer before proceeding with any type of real estate transaction.