How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question

TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10638
Experience:  JD, MBA
9373668
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Property taxes after chapter 7 I own a house in WA and have

Resolved Question:

Property taxes after chapter 7

I own a house in WA and have filed chapter 7 and won't be reaffirming the mortgage or HELOC (ie. I'll let the foreclosure process run its course). The mortgage company (Wells Fargo) has always paid taxes and insurance out of an escrow account that was supplemented by a portion of my mortgage payment, which I have not been paying for 6 months.

Am I responsible for property taxes after bankruptcy and if so, would that go away once the house is foreclosed on? (ie. would the county recoup all owed taxes from the proceeds of the foreclosure sale)
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Q: Am I responsible for property taxes after bankruptcy and if so, would that go away once the house is foreclosed on? (ie. would the county recoup all owed taxes from the proceeds of the foreclosure sale)

A: Taxes do not generally get discharged in bankruptcy. However, you should not have any problem with property taxes. Unpaid property taxes become a lien on the property in question. That lien is, by law, superior to all other liens, including prior recorded mortgages, etc. Accordingly, if the property taxes are not paid, then eventually the house will be sold and the taxes paid. The county wouldn't go after the former owner. Mortgages and other liens will be wiped out if the tax lien is executed. Because of that, lenders usually pay the taxes themselves so that they save their liens.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that you shouldn't have to worry about property taxes.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

If you would like to direct additional legal questions to me in the future, then please type "To VAMD" in the subject line of your question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Would this apply to what I read about "zombie foreclosures" (see: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/30/foreclosed-zombie-homes_n_2974263.html )? This is where a bank alerts the home owner about a foreclosure sale that later gets cancelled for whatever reason and the home owner is not informed, then finds out later they're still responsible for taxes because their name wasn't removed from the deed.


 


If you're still liable for taxes in that case, you're saying just ignore any tax bills and they'll get taken care of when the house is eventually sold/foreclosed on?

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again.

Yes, it applies to "zombie" properties. Back taxes are not usually a problem. What is a problem with zombie properties are HOA fees and maintenance fines, etc. The taxes are not usually a problem because of what I posted earlier. However, HOA fees can accumulate, and the record owner is still liable. The HOA may sue the record owner even if he hasn't lived there for years. Similarly the record owner is still liable for maintaining the property, and I've seen situations where a county fined a person several hundred dollars for failing to maintain property that was not lived in for years. One thing to consider is that even if the lender does not foreclosure immediately, then offer to give the keys to the lender. If the lender accepts the keys, or even has the locks changed, then at least with regard to the county you'd have the argument that although the property is in your name, the lender has possession and should be liable for maintaining it. That worked in a case that I worked on a few months ago. The county was threating to fine $500 per day, and my firm got that taken care of because the lender had put its own locks on the doors.

I hope that helps.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10638
Experience: JD, MBA
TJ, Esq. and other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5432
    17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5432
    17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    7381
    15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry Esquire's Avatar

    Dimitry Esquire

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5368
    JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/rayanswers/2012-6-7_23346_Untitled1.64x64.jpg Ray's Avatar

    Ray

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    5328
    Texas Attorney for 29 years dealing in real estate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    5173
    I have 30 years legal experience. Additionally, in CA I held a Real Estate Broker's license.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    3547
    Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2706
    12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.