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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31590
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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A Ohio condo was put up 's sale and I bid on it. Well after

Customer Question

A Ohio condo was put up for sheriff's sale and I bid on it. Well after it was listed, the condo association placed a large lien on it and I didn't know this when I bid. I was under the mistaken assumption (apparently) that any additional liens would be cleared. I bid $17,400 (listed appraised value and minimum bid per court order) and the lien is $10,200. Am I obligated to complete the purchase? Should the appraised value have changed due to the lien? I'm also conflicted because I've learned the owner is likely suffering a terminal illness. I would really like to get my $1800 deposit back and walk from the deal.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Does the contract or any purchase agreement say anything about these liens or that you will assume any HOA lien, etc.?

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

If the contract states anything about this, you would be bound by those terms. Otherwise, you could likely cancel the contract based on the fact that you can't obtain a clear title. BUT, you really need to have a local lawyer read the paperwork and make sure you state legitimate grounds to cancel in order to get your deposit back and avoid losing/forfeiting it.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It's a sheriff's sale in Lake County. I was only given a receipt. No contract.
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Ok. In that case, you'll need to see whether the lien will follow the unit or whether it will follow the previous owner. You may have to get a lawyer to contact the Condo Assn. and find out what the bylaws say about condo liens, etc.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

If the lien attaches to the property, then you'd need to see what you could work out with the association to resolve the debt. As for the sale, it's not likely that this would be grounds to cancel the purchase because you are likely going to be obligated to have checked the lien situation out before making the bid.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Hopefully, the lien attaches to the person and not the property......and if not, the association would likely be willing to work something out with you to resolve the debt.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I ma receive credit for assisting. Thanks again!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Doesn't an appraised value assume a free and clear title? Shouldn't the value have been changed if a lien is filed before the auction?
Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

No, the appraised value has nothing to do with the liens that encumber the property....the appraised value solely deals with what the property value is irrespective of debt.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

In other words, the fair market value obtained by an appraisal wouldn't be affected by the liens against the fact, an appraiser likely would not check for financial liens when conducting the appraisal.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

You definitely should consult with the condo association yourself or through a lawyer to find out the status of this lien and whether it attaches to the property or to the individual and then decide how to proceed.

Thanks again for your question and if you need anything further, please let me know.

Expert:  Roger replied 11 months ago.

Good luck!

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