Profile picture for wake133

Are back taxes (unpaid taxes) transferred through to the new owner with the sale of a property?

We are making an offer to purchase a property that has no liens, but the current owner has admitted to not paying her taxes for the last several years. My question is that when we complete the sale, are we responsible for those taxes that she had not paid, or are we getting the property free and clear of that debt?

Thank you!
  • April 27 2010 - Ocean Beach
  • 0
    0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Be a Good Neighbor. Be respectful and on-topic. No spam or self-promotion! See our Good Neighbor Policy.

Answers (8)

As a buyer, you should only accept an unclouded deed from the seller that is free and clear of any back taxes or other type of encumberance. This is why an attorney closes real estate transactions - to be sure that things like this do not happen. It is why both sides sign the HUD-1 ,

  • July 27 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I'm not clear what you mean by the owner "Not paying her taxes." If she hasn't been paying her property taxes you will see that in the preliminary title report. If it is some other kind of taxes then it's not your concern.
The title company's job is to deliver the property free of any liens at the close of escrow except for your mortgage and any assessments (like property taxes, Mello Roos Districts, and the like) payable from the day you take ownership and moving forward.
  • July 27 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for RichardMCombs
From what I understand the taxes should be paid by the seller, even in a foreclosure scenario the bank would pay all the taxes.  Title insurance should ensure that your taxes have been paid and are current.

If you buy a home at auction you could be liable for any tax liens in place.
  • July 22 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Profile picture for shasta_steve
I purchased a foreclosure a little over 6 months ago.  The previous owners had not paid the water and garbage for over a year and about $1500 was added to the taxes.   It was not a problem because the bank paid $750 when the first set of taxes was due and gave a credit to my escrow acount for the other half.  The problem is that my bank thinks my taxes are $1500 more a year than they really are and are collecting a little over $100 a month extra for my escrow account.  I am not worried about it because eventually I will get the money back or I will just apply it to my principal but if a large amount of money was owed I could see it being a problem.  
  • July 16 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Taxes due should not follow the property (unless there is a recorded lien).  So, the current taxes owed should be paid at closing.  If there is not sufficient funds for this... then closing will be delayed until it is all sorted out.
  • July 16 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Talk to your agent, back taxes should be paid in escrow.  Title insurance will require they are paid.  One issue may be does the seller have enough funds from the sell to pay the back taxes?  Have your agent and escrow verify this.  

Good luck!
  • July 16 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

Consult a local Real Estate Professional but it will be cleared up at the close of the transaction.
  • May 06 2010
  • 0Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.

I assume you are talking about property tax.  As long as you obtain title insurance as part of your transaction, the seller will be paying the taxes through closing.   Assuming you are not paying cash for the property, the lender you work with will certainly be obtaining title insurance and you won't have to worry about it.

If you are paying cash, you want to make sure that an owners title policy is obtained, and customarily the policy will be paid by the seller through closing.
  • April 27 2010
  • 1Yes

  • Report a Problem

    Please enter a valid email address.

    Content flagged

    We will review this content. Thanks for helping make the site more useful to everyone. To learn more, read Zillow's Good Neighbor Policy.

    We're sorry. This service is temporarily unavailable. Please come back later and try again.