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Buying a condo with a tax lien on the building

I'm in the final stages of closing on a home and just discovered through a news article that there is a tax lien on the building I'm interested in. When I purchase this home do I inherit the debt or is the debt incurred with the previous owners? How is it even possible that the building as a whole is delinquent on tax payments (if all owners are paying taxes individually)? Is this something to be negotiated in the contract i.e. "the buyer will not inherit any existing debt from the building"? Any thoughts would be super appreciated.
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May 08 - Yonkers
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Answers (3)

The purchase of the condo unit will be done through a title company, who's job it is to ensure that "clean and marketable" title is being passed from the seller to you, as buyer.  Real estate title is not a physical document like a car title, but rather it is an official account (through public records with the county) of legal ownership of the property, over time, through a series of deeds (for ownership) and liens (for encumbrances).  You are not responsible for resolving any issues relative to the title that existed previous to your purchase.  Further, your lender would not allow you to close on a purchase without first being guaranteed "first lien" position.  Any such claims against the title by virtue of delinquent tax payments would be protected and arbitrated against by the title company, on your behalf, should it be necessary, through your "Owner's Policy of Title Insurance".  All that being said, the presence of delinquent back taxes may be reflective of a larger problem with the building/project as a whole, which can not be protected by your title policy.  Best of luck!
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May 09
This should have been something that showed up on the title /tax search early in the process and needs to be cleared from title before you can close unless something is negotiated with the seller to pay it off prior to closing.

Contact your loan offcier about this so it doesn't slow up your closing!

Good luck and best wishes!
-Scott
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May 09
That is a question for a New York real Estate atty.   Down here I would advise against it because I know how Tax liens work here in Florida
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May 08
 
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