No need to apologize for anything!.
apologies for the wait.
On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and I am afraid that this is one of these times.TAX LIENS SALES
What you are describing is called a "tax lien sale." In other words, if the property owner does not pay off the taxes in time, then the county may auction off the property and the buyer pays off the taxes and then takes formal possession
of the title
. That is how it works, and, I am sure you are aware of this process.I know in some states that when you pay off past due taxes, a person automatically becomes the new owner but I do not know about the State of Pennsylvania.
That is correct. However, it is not 'automatic.' In other words, this is not done informally, but, via the auction process above. The local government first liens and then auctions off the property. THAT is how you get title, and not by simply paying off the taxes informally.
You may be thinking of 'adverse possession,' wherein someone who makes a claim to the property receives it after a certain amount of time of paying for and living on the property. Otherwise, known as squatter's rights. However, adverse possession has very strict criteria:
One who claims title by adverse possession must prove that he had actual, continuous, exclusive, visible, notorious, distinct, and hostile possession of the land for twenty-one years. Each of these elements must exist, otherwise the possession will not confer title. Inn Le'Daerda, Inc. v. Davis, 360 A. 2d 209 - Pa: Superior Court 1976
(internal citations omitted).
Ergo, I am afraid that this does not apply here. Thus, the only way to get property is via the tax lien sale, and not by informally paying off the taxes.
I hope this helps and clarifies.
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