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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
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Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Real Estate Attorney
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Scott: If I sell my property

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If I sell my property via Warranty Deed am I potentially responsible/liable to the buyer if they "need" a quiet title action to get marketable, insurable title - and if yes for how long after the sale? Is their a different type of deed that I should use if yes ? Please read this article by GA lawyers. http://woodandmeredith.com/faq-tax-sales/ I am particularly concerned with these excerpts : "1. Where Can I get Title Insurance for My Tax Sale Property? Answer: Nowhere in Georgia." "No Title Insurer of which I am aware will issue a Title Policy at closing concerning property purchased at a tax sale. Thus, it may be that, if you acquire tax sale property, you may have initially acquired unmarketable title. So what can you do? Well you can track down all of the former owners of the tax sale property and obtain Quit Claim Deeds (QCD) from them. If you produce QCDs and you tax deed post redemption to the Georgia Title Companies, they will insure the title like any other marketable title. Suppose you cannot find the former owners or you find them and they simply will not sign at any price (not an uncommon response). You do not have a lot of good options. Your best bet may be to bring a Quiet Title Action to clear all clouds on title against the former owners and all the World. Read an Article we have posted concerning Quiet Title Actions. Wood & Meredith, LLP and Swertfeger & Scott, P.C. can assist you in clearing the title, however QTAs are all by the hour ($175 – $225) and generally cost from ($2,500 to $7,500). 10. What if No Notice of Foreclosure is Ever Sent? The title should ripen in four (4) years. But, do not expect to eaisly obtain title insurance in Georgia. In Machen, et al. v. Wolende Management Group, Inc., 271 Ga. 163, 517 S.E.2d 58 (1999), the Georgia Supreme Court finally addressed the issue concerning whether tax deeds ripen into good title after four (4) years. In Machen, the Court held that the if the right of redemption is not exercised within four (4) years from the date of sale, it is barred. And, after the time fixed by the statute for redemption has expired, the right to redeem is gone. There is no power even in a court of equity to authorize a redemption of the property in such cases. Tender of the amount due is a prerequisite to the filing and prosecution of suit to redeem property sold under a tax execution. This author, however, has not found a single title insurance company in Georgia willing to write title insurance over an outstanding tax sale. The common practice is to still require a valid quit claim deed(s) for all outstanding interests or require a quiet title action to eliminate the uncertainty of the tax deed. In GE Capital Mortgage Service, Inc. v. Clack et al., 271 Ga. 82, 515 S.E.2d 619 (1999), the Georgia Supreme Court held that a Creditor in a tax sale may not challenge the tax sale based on lack of notice to another party. Here, in a case of first impression in Georgia, GE challenged the sale on the basis that another creditor (not GE) had not received good notice. The court stated that may give rise to damages, but will not support GE’s claim. GE must show lack of notice to GE to have standing on the issue of notice. Georgia is apparently in the minority of states concerning the adoption of this legal position. 45 A.L.R.4th 447, § 4. OCGA § 48-4-48 Ripening of tax deed title by prescription. (a) A title under a tax deed properly executed at a valid and legal sale prior to July 1, 1989, shall ripen by prescription after a period of seven years from the date of execution of that deed. (b) A title under a tax deed executed on or after July 1, 1989, but before July 1, 1996, shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the execution of that deed. A title under a tax deed properly executed on or after July 1, 1996, at a valid and legal sale shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the recordation of that deed in the land records in the county in which said land is located. (c) A tax deed which has ripened by prescription pursuant to any provision of this Code section shall convey, when the defendant in fi. fa. is not laboring under any legal disability, a fee simple title to the property described in that deed, and that title shall vest absolutely in the grantee in the deed or in the grantee’s heirs or assigns. In the event the defendant in fi. fa. is laboring under any legal disability, the prescriptive term specified in this Code section shall begin from the time the disabilities are removed or abated. (d) Notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem property sold at a tax sale shall not be required to have been provided in order for the title to such property to have ripened under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section. This section is not intended to exempt property sold for taxes from taxation for seven years after it was so sold or until it was redeemed. It simply provides a method for perfecting title to property sold under an execution for taxes. Patterson v. Florida Realty & Fin. Corp., 212 Ga. 440,"

Also what was wasn't discussed in the ripening is the possibility of the defendant in fi fa having been under some legal disability.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

This article is discussing a tax sale or a property acquired by tax auction. However, if you are selling your own property outright and are worried about some hidden liens or defects, that is handled a bit different from a tax sale as described in the above article. The article does discuss disability, it states that the disability delays the time the person has to bring the action for as long as they can prove their disability was active.

A warranty is a contract and is handled under the breach of contract statute of limitations. Thus, if you give a warranty deed, the buyer can come after you for breach of warranty within 6 years of the date the breach occurs or should have reasonably been discovered.

If you are worried about the warranty on the deed, then you can give a quit claim deed, which transfers the property rights you may or may not have without any warranty on the deed. The quit claim is still a valid transfer of the property and it avoids having to worry about some cloud being on the title later.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was specifically asking Seattle Scott who knows the history and the entire story not sure how you got the question.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Wants a specific Expert
If you sell by warranty deed you are guaranteeing good title and also obligating yourself to defend ( in court) the good title if a title claim is made against your buyer. I say "no" to the question of whether you have to perfect a quiet title action for your buyer because he/she thinks one is needed to get good tile. There the buyer is not in a situation where someone is suing to get the property back, no claim is being made, just someone asserting their opinion that they don't have salable title. I disagree with the other expert who posted here ( 6 years) on the duration of your warranty - it is perpetual. If a claim is made on your warranty, it is a dominoes affect - you them make a claim on the warranty deed you received and and so on back to the buyer at the tax sale, the last warranty deed.
To avoid the liability on a warranty deed, could could give a quit claim deed to your buyer. A quit claim deed is saying " I transfer to you all my title, I may have nothing of title, but what I have is yours." If I was selling without title insurance in place I would only give a quit claim deed.
The typical disability ( extending the redemption period) is minority, meaning the prior owner was under age 18 and is usually the result of getting property by inheritance. The other disability is mental, such as being in a comma. But usually a guardian will be appointed at some point and when appointed the mental disability is said to be resolved. In the title research you received, I did not see any sign of a probate deed, thus ruling out the inheritance to a child potential disability.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A couple of questions on this:

Do you agree with the title companies in GA won't give good title to tax sale properties without a quiet title action even after ripening?

If the property is sold through a realtor won't they demand a warranty deed (and title insurance)?

Won't most buyers be opposed to a quitclaim deed? Also isn't that a tip off that the title isn't good or perfect? How about a limited warranty deed and same question regarding.

Do I have a cause of action at this point against my grantor who gave me a warranty deed? What is the statute of limitations?

I am not sure what you are proposing or saying here please clarify what you said above:. " I say "no" to the question of whether you have to perfect a quiet title action for your buyer because he/she thinks one is needed to get good tile" and " If a claim is made on your warranty, it is a dominoes affect - you them make a claim on the warranty deed you received and and so on back to the buyer at the tax sale, the last warranty deed. "

Do you agree with the title companies in GA won't give good title to tax sale properties without a quiet title action even after ripening?
IT IS NOT A QUESTION OF THE TITLE INS CO NOT GIVING GOOD TITLE, BUT WHETHER THEY WILL INSURE, AND ACCORDING TO THE ARTICLE YOU POSTED, ONE ATTORNEY SAYS HE KNOWS OF NO INSURANCE COs THAT WANT TO ISSUE SUCH POLICIES WITHOUT A QUIET TITLE BEING COMPLETED.
ONE THING I HAVE LEARNED IS THAT UNDER THE 4 YEAR RULE PER 48-4-48, THE GEORGIA COURTS HAVE REQUIRED NOT JUST THE PASSAGE OF TIME, BUT ALSO THAT THE OWNER MAINTAIN ADVERSE POSSESSION ON THE PARCEL, MEANING RESIDING THERE OR SOMEHOW DOING SOMETHING ON THE PROPERTY DEMONSTRATING THAT IT IS BEING USED TO THE EXCLUSION OF THE PRIOR OWNERS. IN YOUR SITUATION, THAT MIGHT MEAN FENCING THE PROPERTY OR PUTTING A LOCKED GATE ACROSS THE ACCESS DRIVEWAY. IN AM GOING TO PRINT THE MACHEN CASE AT THE END HERE. THE CASE POINTS OUT THAT IF THE CURRENT OWNER IS IN POSSESSION OF THE DISPUTED PROPERTY AND 4 YEARS HAS PASSED, THE UNDER 48-4-48 THE RIGHT TO REDEEM GETS CUT OFF. IN MACHEN THE OWNER STARTED A QUIET TITLE OR FORECLOSURE OF THE REDEMPTION RIGHT THEN DISMISSED IT. THEN SOME OTHER CLAIMANT POPPED UP AND FILED A REDEMPTION SUIT AND THE COURT RULED AGAINST THE CLAIMANT BECAUSE OF THE 4 YEAR RULE.
If the property is sold through a realtor won't they demand a warranty deed (and title insurance)? NO. THE REALTOR WILL JUST MAKE A BUSINESS DECISION WHETHER IT IS WORTH LISTING THE PROPERTY IF YOU ARE GOING TO GIVE A QUIT CLAIM.
Won't most buyers be opposed to a quitclaim deed? Also isn't that a tip off that the title isn't good or perfect? How about a limited warranty deed and same question regarding. MAYBE, BUT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A LOT WORTH $3500 NOW AND MAYBE $10,000 SOMETIME IN THE FUTURE, SORT OF LIKE BUYING A GOOD USED CAR FOR CASH - NO WARRANTY. YES YOU COULD PUT A LIMITATION IN THE WARRANTY DEED, SUCH AS YOUR LIABILITY IS LIMITED TO THE PURCHASE PRICE PAID BY THE BUYER.
Do I have a cause of action at this point against my grantor who gave me a warranty deed? What is the statute of limitations? NO CAUSE OF ACTION BECAUSE YOU HAVE GOOD TITLE AND NO ONE IS MAKING A CLAIM AGAINST YOUR TITLE NOW. NO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, YOU MAKE A CLAIM AGAINST YOUR GRANTOR WHEN YOUR FUTURE GRANTEE OR A PRIOR OWNER MAKES A CLAIM AGAINST YOUR TITLE.
I am not sure what you are proposing or saying here please clarify what you said above:. " I say "no" to the question of whether you have to perfect a quiet title action for your buyer because he/she thinks one is needed to get good tile" MY OPINION IS THAT YOUR FUTURE BUYER CAN'T COMPEL YOU TO COMPLETE A QUIET TITLE CASE JUST BECAUSE THEY THINK IT IS NEEDED OR BECAUSE THEY CAN'T GET TITLE INSURANCE. and " If a claim is made on your warranty, it is a dominoes affect - you them make a claim on the warranty deed you received and and so on back to the buyer at the tax sale, the last warranty deed. " THE COUNTY DOING THE TAX SALE DID NOT GIVE A WARRANTY DEED, SO THERE WERE TWO WARRANTY DEEDS SINCE THE SALE, THE ONE TO YOUR SELLER AND ONE FROM YOUR SELLER TO YOU. IF YOU CONVEY BY WARRANTY DEED IN THE FUTURE AND A CLAIM IS MADE BACK TO YOU IN THE FUTURE ( SO LONG AS YOU DIDN'T CREATE THE TITLE DEFECT) THEN YOU WILL BE MAKING A CLAIM FOR WARRANTY PROTECTION TO YOUR SELLER AND YOUR SELLER WILL THEN MAKE A CLAIM BACK TO THE SELLER WHO BOUGHT AT THE TAX SALE - DOMINOES.
---------------------------
271 Ga. 163 (Ga. 1999)
517 S.E.2d 58
MACHEN et al.
v.
WOLANDE MANAGEMENT GROUP, INC. et al.
No. S99A0543.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
June 1, 1999
[517 S.E.2d 59]
271 Ga. 166
Schreeder, Wheeler & Flint, David H. Flint, Kevin T. Caiaccio, Grizzard, Simons & *****, ***** J. Martin, Atlanta, for appellants.
C. Terry Blanton, Decatur, for appellees.
CARLEY, Justice.
At issue in this case is title to certain property located on Church Street in Decatur. Southeastern Mortgage and Investment Company, Inc. (SMI), originally had record title, but the property was sold in July of 1994 for non-payment of taxes. At that time, the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Americus (S & L) was the owner of the first security deed on the property, and John W. Henderson Sr.
271 Ga. 164
held a second deed to secure debt. In July of 1995, the purchaser at the tax sale began the process of foreclosing the right of redemption. In that same month, however, Mr. Henderson Sr. died, and Appellants, in their capacity as his heirs, succeeded to his interest in the property. In January of 1996, the grantee of the tax deed again attempted to foreclose the right of redemption, but, shortly thereafter, he conveyed his interest to Wolande Management Group, Inc. (Wolande). In June of 1996, Wolande filed suit to quiet title, alleging foreclosure of the right of redemption and, in December of 1997, the S & L's successor in interest executed and delivered a quitclaim deed to Wolande. Thereafter, Wolande voluntarily dismissed its quiet title action. In April of 1998, Appellants instituted this litigation, seeking a declaration that they were now the holders of the first security deed and that they had the right to redeem the property. Wolande filed a counterclaim alleging that Appellants' right of redemption was barred. After a bench trial in August of 1998, the trial court held that OCGA § 48-4-48 was applicable and that, as a four-year statute of repose, it barred Appellants' exercise of any right of redemption. Accordingly, the trial court entered judgment in favor of Wolande on both the main claim and the counterclaim. Appellants appeal from that order.
1. OCGA § 48-4-48(b) provides, in relevant part, that title under the 1994 tax deed "shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the execution of that deed." Under this statute, the purchaser at the tax sale can acquire prescriptive title unless those who claim a right of redemption redeem the property before the expiration of the four-year period. See Blizzard v. Moniz, 271 Ga. 50, 518 S.E.2 407 (Case No. S99A0368, May 5, 1999). Compare Moultrie v. Wright, 266 Ga. 30, 31(1) (464 S.E.2d 194) (1995) (decided under prior law). Appellants do not contend that Wolande and its predecessor were not in possession of the property for the requisite period of time. Compare Blizzard v. Moniz, supra. Thus, OCGA § 48-4-48(b) precludes Appellants from exercising their alleged right of redemption more than four years after the date of the tax deed to the property. Appellants did file this declaratory judgment action within the four-year period. However, filing suit is not alone sufficient to toll the applicability of OCGA § 48-4-48(b). Redemption is a self-help remedy, whereby timely payment or tender of the amount required by law reinvests legal title in the owner. Durham v. Crawford, 196 Ga. 381, 385(3) (26 S.E.2d 778) (1943). Thus, one who claims the right to redeem property may compel a recalcitrant purchaser at the tax sale "to do that which he is required to do under the law ..." Forrester v. Lowe, 192 Ga. 469, 475(2) (15 S.E.2d 719) (1941). Therefore, it was incumbent upon Appellants actually to exercise their right of redemption during the four-year period. The filing of a civil action alleging the existence of
271 Ga. 165
that unexercised right was not sufficient. " 'After the time fixed by the statute for redemption has expired, the right to redeem is gone, and there is no power even in a court of equity to [517 S.E.2d 60] authorize a redemption of the property in such cases.' " Boroughs v. Lance, 213 Ga. 143, 144(1) (97 S.E.2d 357) (1957). If the owner or his successors did not redeem the property during the four-year period, Wolande, as the successor to the tax sale purchaser, acquired absolute and unconditional title to the land, in which case Appellants lost their redemption rights and ceased to have any interest in the property. Forrester v. Lowe, supra at 476(2). Thus, OCGA § 48-4-48(b) bars Appellants' claim, unless they showed a valid timely exercise of their right of redemption.
As previously noted, the right to redeem property sold under a tax execution is conditioned upon "the payment of the redemption price or the amount required for redemption...." OCGA § 48-4-40.
[T]ender of the amount due ... is a prerequisite to the filing and prosecution of [Appellants'] suit. [Cits.].... [Wolande] is entitled to have an opportunity to accept the money and convey the property voluntarily, before processes of the courts are invoked to compel [it] to do that which [it] is required to do under the law, and perhaps would do if afforded an opportunity.
Forrester v. Lowe, supra at 475(2). Therefore, in order for Appellants to have a viable redemption claim, it was incumbent upon them either to pay or to tender the necessary sums, unless payment or tender was waived by Wolande. Durham v. Crawford, supra at 389(5). Moreover, a tender must be continuous, and if Appellants could not show the continuity of a pre-litigation tender, they were required to pay the sum into the registry of court when they filed this suit. Durham v. Crawford, supra at 389(5)(a). It is undisputed that Appellants did not pay or tender the necessary sums to Wolande before filing suit, and that they did not pay those sums into the registry of court when they filed their complaint. Indeed, it is undisputed that Appellants did not even offer to pay or to tender the money to Wolande.
Appellants urge that Wolande waived the requirement that they make a tender. An actual tender can indeed be waived. Durham v. Crawford, supra at 389(5). "[T]ender of an amount due is waived when the party entitled to payment, by declaration or by conduct, proclaims that, if tender of the amount due is made, an acceptance of it will be refused. [Cits.]" The B-X Corp. v. Jeter, 210 Ga. 250, 255(2), 78 S.E.2d 790 (1953). However, in order for an actual tender to be waived by Wolande's statement or conduct, it would first be necessary for Appellants to make "an actual, present bona fide offer to pay that which is due.... [Cits.]" The B-X Corp. v. Jeter, supra at 255(2), 78 S.E.2d 790. Thus, Appellants cannot contend that Wolande waived an actual tender of payment, unless they at least communicated their offer to pay the required sums. "It is unnecessary to make a tender, to prove that a tender legal in every particular has been made, where the person to whom it is offered will not accept it even though it were a perfect tender. [Cits.]" (Emphasis supplied.) Reese v. Ideal Realty Co., 131 Ga.App. 149, 150-151(2), 205 S.E.2d 432 (1974). Although Wolande's statements and conduct after receiving a bona fide offer of a tender could excuse Appellants' subsequent failure to make an actual tender, none of Wolande's statements or conduct can justify Appellants' failure even to make Wolande an initial offer of a tender.
Under the undisputed evidence, Appellants failed to exercise their right of redemption in a timely manner. Any tender after the time allowed by law for redemption under a tax sale is without effect. Allen v. Gates, 145 Ga. 652, 653(8), 89 S.E. 821 (1916). Wolande's failure to foreclose the right of redemption during the four-year period does not affect the prescriptive title which ripened upon Appellants' failure to redeem the property during that period. Compare Blizzard v. Moniz, supra. The trial court correctly held that OCGA § 48-4-48(b) barred Appellants' exercise of their right of redemption and properly decreed that prescriptive title to the property was vested in Wolande.
2. Appellants' remaining enumerations of error, including the assertion that they are now the holders of the first security deed, are moot. Regardless of whether Appellants [517 S.E.2d 61] hold the first or second security deed, OCGA § 48-4-48(b) divested them of their interest in the property under that conveyance.
Judgment affirmed.
All the Justices concur.
So to boil this down: Whether an owner or owners have continuously adversely possessed the property for a 4 year period is a question of fact that will depend on an owner's evidence of possession, so title insurance companies don't want to get involved. If a title insurance company can't determine good title by reviewing the records in the deeds office, they aren't going to touch it. Since I assume you don't know what the two prior owners since the tax sale have done to "occupy" or "possess" the property, you are going to have to rely on your current and future possession facts that occur over the next 4 years to perfect good title in you, absent a quiet title suit.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I doubt I am going to keep the property for 4 years as there the rv is a money pit. These are rv lots - not supposed to be occupied fulltime and cannot be built upon other than partial fences etc. My grantor got a LIMITED warranty deed from her seller (the tax deed purchaser who had the property from 2005 - 2014 but probably did nothing with it). My understanding is that in GA if you want a realtor to sell the property they will use a closing attorney who in turn will only close if they get title insurance.

Where does this leave me?

( Didn't you think that the supposed clouds on the title weren't really under statute and that the attorney was mistaken? Do you think differently now based on this article on the reality of it ?)

Is there no statute of limitations on challenges to warranty deeds in GA?

(thanks for the case - that was the one referenced in the article and I think the attorney was saying despite this case quiet title action is still necessary in tax sales?)

Given the details and value of the lot, no one is going to litigate any title issues - no prior owner is going to pop up and file suit to quiet title, but no title insurance either and not worth doing a quiet title yourself. But no buyer is going to need a purchase loan, ( which would require title insurance) and I think the real estate agent and attorney closing agent is also a non issue. No agent will list a $4,000 lot, even at 10% commission. So your future sale is going to be direct with the buyer and you can give a limited warranty deed. Did you find the property through Craigslist with a Realtor being involved?
Let me check the S/L on the warranty deed in Georgia, but there shouldn't be an expiration.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The agents here do list them believe it or not. Of course they try and list them for more like you said maybe $7 - 10k but most people also sell the rv too as part of the deal so the realtor gets more and the transaction is more. Most of the lots or many are sold with the rvs on them and yes most or many are sold by realtors.( But there are a few on Craigslist but not many! Yes I bought mine of CL. Lesson learned I suppose). You get more when you go through a realtor up there plus I don't live near there so would be more difficult not going through a realtor.

Btw I just found out that the last two corrective deeds had the return to (my llc address incorrect by one number in the suite number) in the return to part) but I don't think that is a legal requirement? The original deed to me had the right return to address but not the two following corrective deeds. Should we do a third corrective deed just for the return to part? This is becoming a bad joke! (for eg it says return to my name, xyc llc, correct street address, suite number 123 when it should have been suite 122, correct city and state and zip code.

The return mailing address on the deed is of no consequence, both in regard to the name and address, so need to do another corrective deed.
It looks like the statute of limitations on a claim under a warranty deed is 4-6 years years AFTER the claim is made, with no limitation until a claim is made. So if you give a warranty deed and eventually
( 20 years later) a claim is made against your grantee's title, your grantee would have another few years ( this is 20 years from now) to sue you on your warranties.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think you meant no need to do another deed right?

Can I be sued if I sell using a warranty deed and my buyer cant sell due to inability to get title insurance ?

Lastly, and this is part of the confusion - Didn't you initially think that the supposed clouds on the title weren't really issues under statute and that the title attorney who wrote me the report was mistaken? Do you still think he was mistaken? If you recall he referenced two issues of possible redemption both from buyers that existed before the tax sale - he never mentioned anything covered in this article however re quiet title. Do you think differently now based on this article on the reality of the situation ? ie if I want to go sell through a realtor and they use a closing attorney - which they do - I can't without a quiet title action?

( I understand that you think if I sell it myself with a limited warranty without using a realtor that I will be ok but I may have to use one so not sure where that leaves me if I do)

I think you meant no need to do another deed right? CORRECT NO NEED

Can I be sued if I sell using a warranty deed and my buyer cant sell due to inability to get title insurance ? INABILITY TO GET TITLE INSURANCE IS NOT A CLAIM AGAINST THE TITLE YOU WARRANTED - SO NOT A PROBLEM

Lastly, and this is part of the confusion - Didn't you initially think that the supposed clouds on the title weren't really issues under statute and that the title attorney who wrote me the report was mistaken? YES Do you still think he was mistaken? SORT OF, SINCE HE DID NOT MENTION THE 48-4-48 FOUR YEAR RIPENING RULE If you recall he referenced two issues of possible redemption both from buyers that existed before the tax sale - he never mentioned anything covered in this article however re quiet title. Do you think differently now based on this article on the reality of the situation ? YES - YOU HAVE GOOD TITLE BUT IT IS BASED ON FACTS OF THE USE OF THE LOT, NOT WHAT IS RECORDED OR DATES OF DEEDS SO YOU CAN'T GET TITLE INSURANCE ie if I want to go sell through a realtor and they use a closing attorney - which they do - I can't without a quiet title action? I AM NOT SURE. DONT SEE WHY AN ATTORNEY COULDN'T CLOSE A SALE WITHOUT TITLE INSURANCE IF THERE IS NO BANK LOAN AND WITH ONLY A LIMITED WARRANTY DEED

( I understand that you think if I sell it myself with a limited warranty without using a realtor that I will be ok but I may have to use one so not sure where that leaves me if I do)

ON THE RV ON THE LOT, WHICH OWNER PUT IT THERE - CAN YOU TRACE OCCUPATION OF THE LOT THROUGH THE RVFOR MORE THAN 4 YEARS?


Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The RV that is there now has been there for less than a year and placed by my grantor. However, the parties that got foreclosed on in 2005 in the tax sale had the property with an rv on it probably for a long time since they bought it in 1990 if I recall. for I still don't see where the adverse possession along with the ripening gives greater ownership legally (whether it's mine or someone previous) - in statute or case law( or would help me with the realtors using closing attorneys etc.)

Just fyi there are markers that look like elbow gates that show the beginning and end of each lot and each lot has an electric box and city water. Not sure if the tax sale owner was using anything and don't think he was from 2005 -2014 but regardless they are demarcated this way. Again not sure how this affects me.

You have good title, except that the foreclosed owners have a right to redeem until this right is terminated by notice and passage of 30 days without them coming forward with money and then finally getting a court ruling that the redemption right is terminated. The redemption right is also terminated if the property has been possessed or occupied for 4 years continuously by post tax foreclosure owners. If the RV that is on the property now had been there 4 years, that would be a good indication of exclusive possession of the lot, but that is not the case. What matters is the history of the use/possession of the lot since the tax sale in 2005. Maybe the last 4 years of power/water bills might show the RV was being used "enough". but the problem is the lot can't support a permanent residence, so what is continuous occupancy or possession will always be a question of fact.
One last thought would be to track down the foreclosed owners and offer them $250 if they sign a quit claim deed to you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So let me get this straight and I first thought you said I was golden and that past the 4 years passed so it had already ripened by prescription to the tax sale owner.

But now I am not golden and which owners can make a claim?

Is it both the one without the recorded warranty deed back to the mortgage company and the the couple that lost it at the tax sale?? ie the previous owners identified as problems by the title company?

Where are you seeing that I have to have adverse possession? Please show me that

(I did see one case where it stated the purchaser of the tax sale would have to show that - which is two removed from me.) ie so even if I had it for four years - it looks like from that one case that the tax sale owner is the one that had to have had adverse possession.

On being "golden" what i didn't realize is that when 48-4-48 says A title under a tax deed properly executed on or after July 1, 1996, at a valid and legal sale shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the recordation of that deed in the land records in the county in which said land is located. That "ripen by prescription" really meant, ripen IF prescription. I have set out the prescription statutes below as well as the BLIZZARD case. In BLIZZARD the tax sale purchaser never took control/possession of the property and then did a defective notice termination of redemption process and the court said he could not reply on 48-4-48 and the 4 year rule because basically the old owners were still living there and so were allowed to redeem even after 4 years.
I think only the couple that lost it at tax sale can redeem, but to redeem they have to pay the tax sale price plus 110% of the property taxes paid since then.
On the "prescriptive" issue that applies to each and all owners since the tax sale, meaning if any owner or owners occupied or possessed the lot for 4 years continuous ( one owner could do two years and sell and another owner "tacks on" and occupies for the next two years,) then you have four years continuous. Given my assumption that you can't have two RVs on the lot ( not allowed) it may be sufficient that the tax sale buyer putting his own RV on the lot after the tax sale and for four years, clears the 4 your prescriptive hurdle. You would have to get an affidavit to record from the tax sale buyer as to when he put his RV there.
-------------------------------------------
518 S.E.2d 407 (1999)
271 Ga. 50
BLIZZARD
v.
MONIZ et al.
No. S99A0368.
Supreme Court of Georgia.
May 3, 1999.
Thus, the remaining question is whether the right to redeem was foreclosed by the statutory ripening of Blizzard's title. And the answer is no. OCGA § 48-4-48(b) (1989), applicable to this case, provides that title "shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the date of execution of [a tax deed executed on or after July 1, 1989]." (Emphasis supplied.) As stated in OCGA § 44-5-160, title acquired by prescription requires continuance of possession for a period of time fixed by law. Therefore, the plain language of OCGA § 48-4-48 (1989)[7] requires such adverse possession by 411*411 the tax deed grantee in order for title to ripen under the statute. See Justice Carley's special concurrence in Moultrie v. Wright, 266 Ga. 30, 33, 464 S.E.2d 194 (1995). Compare Moultrie and Patterson v. Florida Realty &c. Corp., 212 Ga. 440, 443(3), 93 S.E.2d 571 (1956), decided under prior law. It is uncontroverted that Blizzard never occupied the property, nor committed any acts or exhibited any conduct which would amount to adverse possession of the property for the requisite period. See OCGA § 44-5-161.
§ 44-5-160. Nature of Title by Prescription
Title by prescription is the right to property which a possessor acquires by reason of the continuance of his possession for a period of time fixed by law.
§ 44-5-172. Tacking of Successive Possessions
An inchoate prescriptive title may be transferred by a person in possession to his successor so that successive possessions may be tacked to make out the prescription
§ 44-5-165. How Actual Possession of Lands Evidenced
Actual possession of lands may be evidenced by enclosure, cultivation, or any use and occupation of the lands which is so notorious as to attract the attention of every adverse claimant and so exclusive as to prevent actual occupation by another
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think I read that any prior owner with a claim can use the lack of notice or lack of proper barment - why do you think it's just the previous owners? See Title 48, Chapter 4, Section 45 (48-4-45)

states notice must be given to All persons having of record in the county in which the land is located any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon the property;

Also I am fairly certain the tax sale grantee ( the person that bought the tax sale) is a huge investor and I doubt he ever put an rv on the lot. An rv was place there in August or September of 2014. At the age of the rv and from some of the issues I am aware of thus far I don't think it will even make it another 3 years. I guess when it is removed and if it takes several months to replace that breaks the chain of continuous possession yet again.

It appears that the adverse possession requirement of the ripening of the tax sale applies to the tax sale grantee. I don't see a mention anywhere of what happens to successor grantees in these cases. See https://cases.justia.com/georgia/supreme-court/s08a1548.pdf

Basically it looks like ANY of the former owners we discussed or their heirs can make a claim and challenge the property ( it wouldn't cost them that much besides the legal fees as the sheriff's sale was only $700 and the taxes were minimal) if the land were suddenly desirable to them for some reason. Under what you showed me they would probably prevail too. Not that I would spend that much to defend this. Unfortunately i think the yearly dues got wiped out by this sale so that would be a deterrent but I don't think it exists.

I think I read that any prior owner with a claim can use the lack of notice or lack of proper barment - why do you think it's just the previous owners? See Title 48, Chapter 4, Section 45 (48-4-45)
states notice must be given to All persons having of record in the county in which the land is located any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon the property; I STAND CORRECTED, BUT ANYONE WHO DEEDED THE PROPERTY AWAY IN THE PAST DOES NOT HAVE AN INTEREST OF RECORD ANYMORE, SO NOTICE WOULD GO TO THE ONE MORTGAGE HOLDER THAT WAS PROBABLY PAID OFF BUT DIDN'T RECORD A SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE AND MAYBE ONE OTHER TITLE HOLDER FROM THE PAST, PLUS THE OWNERS THAT WERE FORECLOSED IN 2005
Also I am fairly certain the tax sale grantee ( the person that bought the tax sale) is a huge investor and I doubt he ever put an rv on the lot. An rv was place there in August or September of 2014. At the age of the rv and from some of the issues I am aware of thus far I don't think it will even make it another 3 years. I guess when it is removed and if it takes several months to replace that breaks the chain of continuous possession yet again. OK, WITH THOSE FACTS, PRESCRIPTIVE RIGHTS FIRST STARTED A FEW MONTHS AGO AND NOT IN 2005. IF YOU ARE THE OWNER WHEN THE PRESENT RV NEEDS TO BE REPLACED, DON'T REMOVE IT UNTIL YOU HAVE A REPLACEMENT WAITING TO BE PARKED THERE.
It appears that the adverse possession requirement of the ripening of the tax sale applies to the tax sale grantee. I don't see a mention anywhere of what happens to successor grantees in these cases. See https://cases.justia.com/georgia/supreme-court/s08a1548.pdf
IN THE BX V. HICKORY HILLS CASE, THERE WERE NO SUCCESSOR GRANTEES, NO ONE SOLD BY DEED, ALL THE OWNERS EXCEPT HICKORY HILLS LOST THE PROP THROUGH TAX SALE. SEE § 44-5-172. Tacking of Successive Possessions. WHEN YOU DEED A PROPERTY, WHETHER BY WARRANTY OR QUIT CLAIM, THE GRANTEE GETS ALL THE RIGHTS OF THE GRANTOR, SO YOU CAN TACK ON PRESCRIPTIVE RIGHTS YOU GET FROM YOUR GRANTOR AND YOUR GRANTOR'S GRANTOR. SO IF YOU COULD PROVE 4 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS POSSESSION ANYTIME BETWEEN 2005 AND THE PRESENT AND THE POSSESSION CAN BE SPLIT OR "TACKED" BETWEEN TWO OWNERS, THEN TITLE WOULD HAVE RIPENED SUCH AS TO CANCEL RIGHT OF REDEPMTION.
Basically it looks like ANY of the former owners (NO ONLY THE ONES WHO DID NOT SELL IN THE PAST AND THE ONE LENDER) we discussed or their heirs can make a claim and challenge the property ( it wouldn't cost them that much besides the legal fees as the sheriff's sale was only $700 and the taxes were minimal) if the land were suddenly desirable to them for some reason. Under what you showed me they would probably prevail too. Not that I would spend that much to defend this. Unfortunately i think the yearly dues got wiped out by this sale so that would be a deterrent but I don't think it exists.
IF YOU NEED THE DETAILS ON HOW TO GIVE NOTICE OF RIGHT TO REDEEM ( IN CASE YOU WANT TO GIVE NOTICE TO HOPEFULLY CUT OFF THE RIGHT RATHER THAN CAUSE A REDEMPTION) LET ME KNOW. IF YOU GOT REDEEMED FOR LESS THAN YOU PAID, YOU WOULD THEN MAKE A CLAIM FOR THE DIFFERENCE AGAINST THE WARRANTY DEED GRANTOR YOU BOUGHT FROM.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I thought the sheriff's office gives notice? And that only the tax deed buyer can use barment notices.

"SO NOTICE WOULD GO TO THE ONE MORTGAGE HOLDER THAT WAS PROBABLY PAID OFF BUT DIDN'T RECORD A SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE AND MAYBE ONE OTHER TITLE HOLDER FROM THE PAST, PLUS THE OWNERS THAT WERE FORECLOSED IN 2005" I think the mortgage holder foreclosed but not sure in the quote above. That's why they resold the same lot but didn't get the warranty deed - the chain in title break ie the "one other title holder" besides the owners foreclosed in 2005.

I think that the mortgage company or security deed holder are long gone btw.

So can I be the one to do the barment?

If so you just mentioned the downside - that they could reclaim the property for a very cheap price.

So basically I don't have secure title and am screwed and the title attorney was correct and there isn't anything I can really do about it?

I thought the sheriff's office gives notice? And that only the tax deed buyer can use barment notices. NO, THE BUYER AND HIS SUCCESSORS CAN GIVE NOTICE AND YOU ARE A SUCCESSOR. THE SHERIFF PERSONALLY SERVES THE NOTICE YOU PROVIDE TO ***** COUNTY THAT YOU CAN GET A GOOD ADDRESS FOR AND YOU ALSO SEND THE NOTICE MY MAIL TO BOTH IN COUNTY AND OUT OF COUNTY INTERESTED PARTIES AND YOU ALSO PUBLISH THE NOTICE A FEW TIMES IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER.
"SO NOTICE WOULD GO TO THE ONE MORTGAGE HOLDER THAT WAS PROBABLY PAID OFF BUT DIDN'T RECORD A SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE AND MAYBE ONE OTHER TITLE HOLDER FROM THE PAST, PLUS THE OWNERS THAT WERE FORECLOSED IN 2005" I think the mortgage holder foreclosed but not sure in the quote above. That's why they resold the same lot but didn't get the warranty deed - the chain in title break ie the "one other title holder" besides the owners foreclosed in 2005.
I think that the mortgage company or security deed holder are long gone btw.
So can I be the one to do the barment? YES, SEE ABOVE AND THE STATUTES BELOW
If so you just mentioned the downside - that they could reclaim the property for a very cheap price. IF YOU CAN FIND THEM THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ACTUAL MAILED NOTICE. IF YOU CAN’T FIND THEM, THEN YOU JUST PUBLISH IN THE PAPER AND NO ONE WILL SEE IT OR RESPOND
So basically I don't have secure title and am screwed and the title attorney was correct and there isn't anything I can really do about it? YES AND NO. YOU CAN KEEP THE RV ON THE LOT AND IF LESS THAN 4 YEARS AND YOU WANT TO SELL THEN YOU CAN DO THE NOTICE PROCESS AND THEN IF NOT REDEEMED THEN LIST FOR SALE. IF YOU SELL MORE THAN 4 YEARS FROM NOW, SKIP THE NOTICE PROCESS AND JUST RECORD AN AFFIDAVIT RECITING YOUR CONTINUOUS EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION OF THE PROP FOR THE 4 YEARS.
CODE OF GEORGIA
Title 48. REVENUE AND TAXATION
Chapter 4. TAX SALES
Article 3. REDEMPTION OF PROPERTY SOLD FOR TAXES
Current through 2015 Act no. 2
§ 48-4-45. Notice of Foreclosure of Right to Redeem; Time; Persons Entitled to Notice
(a) After 12 months from the date of a tax sale, the purchaser at the sale or his heirs, successors, or assigns may terminate, foreclose, divest, and forever bar the right to redeem the property from the sale by causing a notice or notices of the foreclosure, as provided for in this article:
(1) To be served upon all of the following persons who reside in the county in which the property is located:
(A) The defendant in the execution under or by virtue of which the sale was held;
(B) The occupant, if any, of the property; and
(C) All persons having of record in the county in which the land is located any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon the property;
(2) To be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to each of the persons specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection who resides outside the county in which the property is located, if the address of that person is reasonably ascertainable; and
(3) To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice.
(b) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to require that any notice be sent to or served upon any person whose right, title, interest in, or lien upon the property does not appear of record in the county in which the land is located.
(c) The heirs of any deceased owner of any land entitled to notice pursuant to this Code section shall be served by the sheriff or notified as provided in this article.
§ 48-4-46. Form of Notice of Foreclosure of Right to Redeem; Service; Time; Return and Record; Waiver
(a) The notice provided for in Code Section 48-4-45 shall be written or printed, or written in part and printed in part, and shall be in substantially the following form:
Take notice that:
The right to redeem the following described property, to wit:
______ will expire and be forever foreclosed and barred on and
after the ______ day of ______________, ____.
The tax deed to which this notice relates is dated the ______ day
of ______________, ____, and is recorded in the office of the
Clerk of the Superior Court of ________ County, Georgia, in Deed
Book ____ at page ____.
The property may be redeemed at any time before the ______ day of
______________, ____, by payment of the redemption price as fixed
and provided by law to the undersigned at the following address:
___________________________________________________________________.
Please be governed accordingly.
_______________
(b) The purchaser at the tax sale or his heirs, successors, or assigns, as the case may be, shall make out an original notice in substantially the form prescribed in subsection (a) of this Code section and one copy of the notice for each person to be served with the notice. The purchaser shall deliver the notice and the copies together with a list of the persons to be served to the sheriff of the county in which the land is located not less than 45 days before the date set in each notice for the expiration of the right to redeem. Within 15 days after delivery to him, the sheriff shall serve a copy of the notice personally or by deputy upon each of the persons included on the list furnished him who reside in the county.
The sheriff shall make an entry of the service on the original copy of the notice. Leaving a copy of the notice at the residence of any person required to be served with the notice shall be a sufficient service of the notice.
(c) If the sheriff personally or by deputy makes an entry that he is unable for any reason to effect service upon any person required to be served, the person who requested that the service be made shall forthwith cause a copy of the notice to be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published, unless that notice is being published as provided in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 48-4-45 . Either publication shall operate as and for all purposes shall be treated as service upon all persons as to whom the sheriff has made an entry that he has been unable to effect service.
(d) Each original notice together with the entry of the sheriff on the notice shall be returned to the person by whom the service was requested upon the payment of the sheriff's costs as provided by law. Any original notice together with the entries on the notice may be filed and recorded on the deed records in the office of the clerk of the superior court of the county in which the land is located.
(e) Service of notices as provided in this Code section may be waived in writing by any person required or entitled to be served with the notice.
Cite as OCGA § 48-4-46
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I wonder why the article on this I showed you did not mention this as an option and only discussed quiet title actions as a solution?

This sounds expensive.

I saw a case that said notice in the paper wasn't sufficient (possibly even if I can't find these people/companies)

How would this be filled out - and what is the time period I would put in for redemption.

I saw in the statute the owners would be responsible for special assessments does that mean they would have to pay the annual hoa dues from ? to ? in addition to ? what would they have to pay?

Not sure why the article didn't go into the notice of redemption procees - as there are a few appeals cases discussing the process.
My guess is that the cost would be around $300, split between sheriff and newspaper.
For notice by publication to be effective you first have to conduct a diligent search to find mailing addresses of the people to be notified.
I would use a 60 day period, meaning put a date that is 60 days out from the date of the notice, as the sheriff has 15 days to serve and report back. Its a 30 day notice, but add another 30 days in the event there are delays in getting publication. There are two provsions for publication ( not sue why) one for once a week for 2 weeks and another for once a week for 30 days. So makes sense to do the 30 days type publication given 30 days notice, so use a 60 day as the future date in the actual notice.
The notice does not have to state what $ is due, but the law says if not redeemed within 30 days of receipt of notice, then you get to add the cost of the sheriff and publication to what is owed to redeem. I could not find any case law that ruled on whether HOA dues were to be added as special assessments, but my thinking is that any debts, that if left unpaid would create a lien on the property or would subject the property to foreclosure should be includeable in the redemption price, which is the case with HOA dues.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please tell me where you are getting the 60 days from? I would think a year since they never got the proper notice to begin with - but I am sure this is stated somewhere more concretely? The statute refers to at least 6 months so it has to be more than even that - "(3) To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice."

Where does it state what the redemption price is?

Also doesn't a tax sale wipe out liens like HOA dues? There are no liens on the property now according to the title report.

You also discussed trying to get a quitclaim from the "problem" previous owners but according to the article I would really need to get a qc deed from ALL previous owners to have marketable good title.

You mentioned earlier that I could state in a limited warranty deed that my liability is limited to the purchase price? Wouldn't that be in the purchase agreement? I have never seen that language in a deed have you?

What I thought a limited warranty deed or special warranty deed (not sure which is the better document to use in Ga) meant was - The limited warranty deed assures the buyer that the seller has done nothing during his ownership of the property to create an encumbrance that is not clearly defined in the deed. The warranty is limited to the period that the seller has owned the property.

Other language - LIMITED WARRANTY DEED A limited warranty deed (known in some other states as a special warranty deed) The form in common use in Georgia has a limited warranty similar to the following: And the said Grantor will warrant and forever defend the right and title to the above described property against the claims of all persons owning, holding, or claiming by, through and under the said Grantor

This is depressing. I thought I was in good shape until I did more research.

Please tell me where you are getting the 60 days from? I would think a year since they never got the proper notice to begin with - but I am sure this is stated somewhere more concretely? The statute refers to at least 6 months so it has to be more than even that - "(3) To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice."
I GET THE 60 DAYS BY JUST ADDING ANOTHER 30 DAYS TO BE SAFE, SINCE YOU HAVE TO GIVE THE SHERIFF THE NOTICE TO SERVE 45 DAYS FROM THE DEADLINE STATED IN THE NOTICE AND THE SHERIFF HAS 15 DAYS TO SERVE, SO THE SHERIFF IS SERVING A 30 DAY NOTICE. THE NOTICE HAS TO STATE A CALENDER DATE AS THE DEADLINE RATHER THAN STATE “YOU HAVE 30 DAYS TO REDEEM”
-----------------------------------------------
The right to redeem the following described property, to wit:
( LEGAL DESCRIPTION, TAX PARCEL NUMBER AND ADDRESS)______ will expire and be forever foreclosed and barred on and
after the ______ day of ______________, ____.
SO FOR EXAMPLE, YOU PLAN TO SEND THE NOTICE TO THE SHERIFF AND NEWSPAPER ON March1, SO TO BE SAFE AND GIVE YOURSELF A LITTLE CUSHION YOU PUT A DEADLINE OF MAY 1 IN THE NOTICE OR JUNE 1 IF YOU WANT. IF YOU USE JUNE 1 THEN THAT GIVES YOU UNTIL MAY 1 TO PUBLISH 4 TIMES EACH WEEK AND FOR THE SHERIFF TO GET IT SERVED BY MAY 1.
THE PHRASE “in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline” MEANS YOU CAN’T GIVE MORE THAN 6 MONTHS ADVANCE NOTICE, NOT THAT YOU HAVE TO GIVE AT LEAST SIX MONTHS NOTICE. I THINK THE PURPOSE OF THIS LAW IS TO PREVENT THE TAX SALE BUYER
( WHO HAS TO WAIT A YEAR FROM THE SALE DATE TO CUT OFF REDEMPTION) FROM GIVING NOTICE IMMEDIATLEY AFTER THE TAX SALE “YOU HAVE A YEAR AND 30 DAYS TO REDEEM” AND THEN THE FORECLOSED OWNER FORGETS ABOUT THE DEADLINE AFTER A FEW MONTHS. THE TAX SALE BUYER HAS TO WAIT AT LEAST 6 MONTHS AFTER THE SALE BEFORE GIVING NOTICE. SINCE THE TAX SALE WAS YEARS AGO, THE 6 MONTH RULE DOES NOT APPLY ANYMORE.
Where does it state what the redemption price is? THE NOTICE DOES NOT STATE THE REDEMPTION PRICE. ( I DON’T KNOW WHY THIS IS)
Also doesn't a tax sale wipe out liens like HOA dues? There are no liens on the property now according to the title report. TAX SALE WIPES OUT ALL LIENS SO THE OLD MORTGAGE THAT WAS NEVER RESOLVED NO LONGER ENCUMBERS THE PROPERTY.
You also discussed trying to get a quitclaim from the "problem" previous owners but according to the article I would really need to get a qc deed from ALL previous owners to have marketable good title.
ANYONE WHO SIGNED A RECORDED DEED AS GRANTORS ALREADY GAVE UP THEIR INTEREST SO YOU DON’T NEED A QUIT CLAIM FROM THEM.
You mentioned earlier that I could state in a limited warranty deed that my liability is limited to the purchase price? Wouldn't that be in the purchase agreement? I have never seen that language in a deed have you?
What I thought a limited warranty deed or special warranty deed (not sure which is the better document to use in Ga) meant was - The limited warranty deed assures the buyer that the seller has done nothing during his ownership of the property to create an encumbrance that is not clearly defined in the deed. The warranty is limited to the period that the seller has owned the property.
Other language - LIMITED WARRANTY DEED A limited warranty deed (known in some other states as a special warranty deed) The form in common use in Georgia has a limited warranty similar to the following: And the said Grantor will warrant and forever defend the right and title to the above described property against the claims of all persons owning, holding, or claiming by, through and under the said Grantor THAT LANGUAGE IS FINE. THE TYPE OF DEED NEEDS TO BE SPECIFIED IN THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT I AGREE. BUT SINCE THE PROPERTY VALUE IS SO LOW COMPARED TO WHAT IT COSTS TO GET A LAWYER TO REPRESENT YOU IN A “BREACH OF WARRANTY” CLAIM, EVEN IF THE CLAIM IS WITHOUT MERIT, I THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD TO HAVE A RECITAL IN THE DEED THAT LIMITS YOUR LIABILITY – YOUR OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE – IN DEFENDING YOUR WARRENTY. THIS IS RARE, BUT SO IS HAVING A TAX LOT WORTH SO LITTLE AND HAVING SO MANY LOOSE ENDS.
This is depressing. I thought I was in good shape until I did more research.
AS A FIRST STEP I WOULD TRY TO LOCATE THE OWNERS THAT WERE FORECLOSED AT THE TAX SALE.
DID YOU PURCHASE FOR AN INVESTMENT OR DID YOU PLAN TO USE THE PROP FOR A VACATION SPOT?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It was for both purposes. It is in a country club and I wanted to experiment with renting it out but until I feel more secure in my ownership I am not sure how much more I want to invest.

Since the statute gives the owners a year to redeem and they may never have been notified why do you think only 60 days will suffice?

I would think they would have a year (and again in the above I showed you where you had to publish for 4 weeks in the 6 month period before redemption - that presumes there is a longer time period than 60 days and at least 6 months) They probably are put into the position as am I of the original tax purchaser and would have to give a year. Just my gut feeling. I would think there is caselaw on this if not statutory. The statute does say a year for the tax sale purchaser.

Also there is a statute that states how much they would owe but don't recall where I saw that. I believe it was something like the price paid by the purchaser ( only $700!), the sheriff's costs and 20% of something don't recall what - maybe per year of the taxes owed or the purchase tax sale price.

I told my grantor and she was very upset because she realizes she is on the hook too since she gave me a warranty deed. She called the tax sale grantee and supposedly he gave the proper notice and followed the barment procedures- but no proof of this yet and not sure why the title attorney thought he did not - not sure what it is that would be filed to prove it.

I also called the company that merged with the company that made the sale twice of the lots without recording the warranty deed from the owner to them (it is the country club itself) and they don't have a record of that purchaser! Their attorney said the records may not go back that far. I wonder if they would be potentially liable should any problems occur due to their failure to have the records and record the deed.

If the price of the lot is very low to redeem - that is why I am trying to figure out the cost - maybe it isn't the wisest to track these owners down since it my understanding that they would have to hire an attorney or try to sue me to get the property if I don't do that - and in that sense it is better to let sleeping dogs lie. I am not sure if my giving them notice - would even accomplish creating or perfecting my interest without the quiet title action and may not be worth it.

I have already discussed the one year period. The prior owners have one year AFTER THE TAX SALE - to redeem. The tax sale grantee and successors do not give the prior owners notice of the one year provision. Once the one year has passed, but no sooner than 6 months before the one year runs out, the grantee or successor can give 30 days notice ( including publication once a week for 4 weeks) that the right to redeem will end. Again, to the extent the owners are entitled to one years' notice, this is not an obligation of the tax sale grantee. ( Maybe it is part of the notice of tax foreclosure sale the county sends out).
The “redemption price” is set out in the following statute:
§ 48-4-42. Amount Payable for Redemption
The amount required to be paid for redemption of property from any sale for taxes as provided in this chapter, or the redemption price, shall with respect to any sale made after July 1, 2002, be the amount paid for the property at the tax sale, as shown by the recitals in the tax deed, plus any taxes paid on the property by the purchaser after the sale for taxes, plus any special assessments on the property, plus a premium of 20 percent of the amount for the first year or fraction of a year which has elapsed between the date of the sale and the date on which the redemption payment is made and 10 percent for each year or fraction of a year thereafter. If redemption is not made until more than 30 days after the notice provided for in Code Section 48-4-45 has been given, there shall be added to the redemption price the sheriff's cost in connection with serving the notice and the cost of publication of the notice, if any. All of the amounts required to be paid by this Code section shall be paid in lawful money of the United States to the purchaser at the tax sale or to the purchaser's successors.
So as to the big picture, I would hold off on the redemption notice procedure. Renting out the property seems like a great idea, since it would be used/occupied. I see no problem with you being a landlord, even though there is glitch in your title.
Then 4 years from now, you could skip the redemption notice and just do the quiet title case.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So now you are saying I would still need to do the quiet title case after the 4 years of my ownership? That cost cost upward of $7500 in todays dollars??

btw, the insurance is iffy on allowing these as rentals - and may only be occasional - like a few times a year for short periods but they even frown upon that and it's not written in stone.

What was the tax sale owner supposed to do that he did not do? The title attorney said he did not go through the barment procedure. Then what was it he didn't do exactly?

I imagine he didn't do the publishing, send out the notices and give the year notice and not sure where you are getting

" SINCE THE TAX SALE WAS YEARS AGO, THE 6 MONTH RULE DOES NOT APPLY ANYMORE. "

Again how would title attorney even know this about what he did or did not do?

To get title insurance you will need to do a quiet title. But if you sell to a buyer that doesn't require title insurance, then I wouldn't bother with the quiet title court process.
The tax sale buyer should have recorded proof of publication and recorded a copy of the notice he sent to bar the redemption as well as an affidavit of mailing stating when and where he mailed the notice.
Re the six month rule, the statute says:"(3) To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice."
This means you publish for a month, but that month must be within 6 months of the final deadline. So anytime you publish in the future, you will set a deadline 30 to 60 days 60 to be safe) from the date the notice goes out, therefore, all future notices will be sent within 6 months ( probably 1 to 2 months) of the final deadline.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I just got feedback from a realtor in the area and sent her my title report. This is what she got back from the attorney she uses "


I reviewed the title work you emailed Jane, and there are a couple of MAJOR issues with this one. There is a break in chain from a 1990 conveyance and the property is technically still owned by John W , not your seller. If that weren’t enough, there is also a Sheriff’s Tax Deed from 2005 that would require a QCD from the previous owner or a quiet title action. It would be like finding a needle in a hay stack to get the QCD from the previous owner since it was 10 years ago, so we would only be left with quiet title action that takes about 10 months and the cost starts at $2500.



The ONLY way to convey title to this property is with a QCD, and we would NEVER recommend a buyer purchase this property without these issues being resolved."


I don't believe you agreed with all that in our conversations so thought you might comment on this. The attorney is stating that the property is still technically owned by John W (the one where there is no warranty deed recorded in 1980 but there was security interest There is no way I am spending that type of money on this property for quiet title action and I don't understand why I can't at least sell by a limited warranty deed. Really depressed over all of this.

You can sell by limited warranty deed, but the other lawyer's opinion is that you shouldn't do that and just use a quit claim - its a judgment call. As a practical matter your buyer probably won't care which deed they get if not a warranty deed, since the "problems" arise before you took ownership, and a limited warranty deed just warrants that you did not screw up or erode the title during your ownership- which is not the issue.
My opinion is that you can perfect title from a tax sale by the barment process by giving notice to all past owners that caused a cloud on the title. The other lawyer's opinion is that you need to do a quiet title litigation to get perfect title.
So in the end it is up to the market whether a future buyer is fine with the irregular title. If there are other lots for sale there asking the same price with good title, then you are going to have to discount the price a bit to get a sale.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I wasn't finished writing this when you answered and think this hopefully is a ray of hope and wondering if this changes anything in my favor or what I can do here to wipe out their claims since their mortgages were 20 years past maturity and not enforceable if reading this right:


Regarding John W - xyz corp granted him a warranty deed july 1988 subject to a may 1984 document (not specified) and then in May 1989 John W granted a deed to secure debt with the power of sale to xyz corp and the debt was due Aug 1993.



Similarly the sellers in the tax sale couple also were granted a warranty deed by xyz corp for the same lot in August 1990 and in September 1990 they similarly granted xyz corp a deed to secure debt with the power of sale to xyz corp with the debt due Aug. 1995.



Not sure how or if that changes anything since I read the title attorney said that mortgages the two open mortgages are 20
years past maturity and not enforceable and it concerns these same exact parties that are the alleged title problems.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok I just re read what you said so also if I give a limited warranty deed could I be liable for issues that arose before my ownership - i thought no I couldn't be and especially if I put language to that affect in the deed. same question for a quit claim deed.

You misunderstood me. A limited warranty deed basically says to the grantee, I will defend the title in the event anyone says that I did something bad to the title while I owed it. A limited warranty doesn't make you liable for problem that arose before you took title. So if you offer a limited warranty deed when you sell, the buyer will say, "all the problems with this title arose before 2014, so you warranting nothing happened after 2014 to harm the title, is not helpful and if of little value."
A quit claim deed says: " Whatever title I have, grantee I transfer it to you and I may have no title" So there is no liability to the grantor no matter what.
I am just saying if I was buying from you, for me there would be only a very slight benefit to get a limited warranty deed rather than a quit claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Did you see what I asked regarding the two mortgages above?

Did you see what I asked regarding the two mortgages above?
CAN YOU GIVE THE DATE AND TIME OF THE "REPLY" YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You replied




Monday, March 02, 2015 1:41 PM EST




I wasn't finished writing this when you answered and think this hopefully is a ray of hope and wondering if this changes anything in my favor or what I can do here to wipe out their claims since their mortgages were 20 years past maturity and not enforceable if reading this right:


Regarding John W - xyz corp granted him a warranty deed july 1988 subject to a may 1984 document (not specified) and then in May 1989 John W granted a deed to secure debt with the power of sale to xyz corp and the debt was due Aug 1993.



Similarly the sellers in the tax sale couple also were granted a warranty deed by xyz corp for the same lot in August 1990 and in September 1990 they similarly granted xyz corp a deed to secure debt with the power of sale to xyz corp with the debt due Aug. 1995.



Not sure how or if that changes anything since I read the title attorney said that mortgages the two open mortgages are 20
years past maturity and not enforceable and it concerns these same exact parties that are the alleged title problems.


Can you go to the county recorder's office with the title report and get a copy of the two debt conveyances for the purpose of identifying and perhaps locating xyz corp? If so, xyz will give you a quit claim deed if you just ask.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I already told you about that and I tried that. They - Xyz were purchased/merged into the current country club corporation that runs it - I know who and where they are - I spoke to their attorney but they have no paperwork at all on John W. - nada. They do not show he was even ever an owner nothing on him, however their paperwork may not go back that far they said. It is obviously in the court records regarding his situation and that he was. My question on him then (and the others) is again about the mortgage per what the title attorney said:
that mortgages the two open mortgages are 20
years past maturity and not enforceable (and it concerns these same exact parties that are the alleged title problems.)

Regarding the couple of the tax sale I was wondering if their mortgage would affect their position for redemption as stated above:


Similarly the sellers in the tax sale couple also were granted a warranty deed by xyz corp for the same lot in August 1990 and in September 1990 they similarly granted xyz corp a deed to secure debt with the power of sale to xyz corp with the debt due Aug. 1995. (Although maturity would actually occur for them August 2015 I believe so not sure why the title attorney said that) but would this be true in August then?


Not sure how or if that changes anything since I read the title attorney said that mortgages the two open mortgages are 20
years past maturity and not enforceable and it concerns these same exact parties that are the alleged title problems.

But the mortgages, while not enforceable are still of record and xyz was a prior owner, so why not get a quit claim from it, since the corporation doesn't claim any ongoing interest and screwed up in the past, it should be easy to get their cooperation.
The mortgage of the tax foreclosure owners does not give them ( the individuals) any more rights regarding redemption. And if the mortgage was of record in 2005, the county should have given notice of the tax sale to the lender and there should be a record of that somewhere.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

1. The attorney made it very clear she had no interest in helping and it wasn't their problem, plus they couldn't help because the owner John W who should of given them a warranty deed before they sold it again IS NOT IN THEIR RECORDS AT ALL. So their giving me quitclaim deed won't solve the problem of John W's ownership and not sure you saw this but a local attorney when apprised of the situation and title report stated "

I reviewed the title work you emailed Jane, and there are a couple of MAJOR issues with this one. There is a break in chain from a 1990 conveyance and the property is technically still owned by John W , not your seller. If that weren’t enough, there is also a Sheriff’s Tax Deed from 2005 that would require a QCD from the previous owner or a quiet title action. It would be like finding a needle in a hay stack to get the QCD from the previous owner since it was 10 years ago, so we would only be left with quiet title action that takes about 10 months and the cost starts at $2500.

The ONLY way to convey title to this property is with a QCD, and we would NEVER recommend a buyer purchase this property without these issues being resolved."

2. My point regarding the tax sale foreclosure owners is that the statute of limitations on the mortgage - with the payoff being by August 2015 (and also 2014 for John W) may give me more rights not less? Since the title attorney said that after 20 years mortgages are satisfied.

Even if the lender had notice of the tax sale so what? That doesn't mean the tax buyer used the barment procedure correctly and notified the owners correctly. Maybe they satisfied their mortgage and I think the attorney said they did and she didn't have a lien on them in any case. The deed and not were assigned to Fleet for the tax sales owners who I don't believe is in business any longer.

This tread has gotten too long for me to keep the facts straight.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I get that but the last reply I had to use was pertinent and I am trying to see if the mortgages expiring (if they really do) after 20 years would help me. I am trying to avoid a $7500 QT action and realtors are telling me most folks are doing title searches and no one will buy the limited warranty or QT with or without an attorney. And I wanted to show you the local GA attorney's response - that the land was still technically owed by John W - to see if you agreed with that. I can't afford to do the QT on this and it would be moronic but I can't keep it either without continuing to put money into and apparently I will have a hard time selling it.

Yes mortgages expire after 20 years, technically they become uncollectible, since they are a sealed instrument.
CODE OF GEORGIA
Title 9. CIVIL PRACTICE
Chapter 3. LIMITATIONS OF ACTIONS
Article 2. SPECIFIC PERIODS OF LIMITATION
Current through 2015 Act no. 2
§ 9-3-23. Sealed Instruments
Actions upon bonds or other instruments under seal shall be brought within 20 years after the right of action has accrued. No instrument shall be considered under seal unless so recited in the body of the instrument.
----------------------
I do not agree that John W still is still an owner, since the tax sale is supposed to cut off all prior title once the barment is accomplished.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

IF the barment was accomplished. Also I would need to make sure these mortgages were not paid off. I can't find out re Fleet since they aren't in business any longer if not recorded in the courthouse.

No if those mortgages were not paid off by the two posssible owners that were potentially clouding the title?


Still so unclear what the bot***** *****ne is here. Do I need to a QT action? (I really can't see paying for that given what the land is worth now yet I can't see pouring in more money too)

Do the barment and give notice to everyone you can find, name everyone in the chain of title, lenders too, on the notice that gets mailed, published and served by the sheriff. If anyone pops up and tenders the redemption price then contact your seller for her to pay you the difference between the redemption price and FMV, under her deed warranty.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I feel like a yo yo. Btw that would meaning serving a ton of people and suing my grantor. More money and possibly losing the property for a song. YOu have gone back and forth on this so many times. I don't see how the owners can claim ownership if their land was under a mortgage/security deed - even if it got assigned - and their mortgage/security deed expires - assuming they didn't pay it off - how they can have a claim. Also you said the tax deed wipes it out . So Still really confused.

Guess I need a GA atty and oh yeah the few I asked so far all said I need to do a quiet title action - except didn't mention the banks or the country club being the real owners - which no one mentioned who actually in most likelihood really owned the property and not John W or the tax sellers unless they paid it off (no mention of this either)

A property owner who gives a security deed, aka deed of trust or mortgage, still owns the title, it is just that there is a lien or encumbrance on the property title. This is why "owners can claim ownership even if their land is under a security deed. The consequence of giving a deed of trust is that now the deed of trust grantee/lender would be entitled to notice of barment.
In conclusion: Whoever owned the property didn't pay the taxes and the property was foreclosed and sold by the county, wiping out all the mortgages and title ownership of anyone claiming an interest as of the time of the tax sale. But to finalize this result and create a good title chain from the date of sale forward the barment process must be done and the record of the barment process is then recorded.
You do not want to go through the barment process.
The alternate to barment is to exclusively possess the property for four years. This can probably be accomplished by keeping an RV on the lot continuously.
You said you may not want to keep the property for four years or the current rv on the lot may need to be replaced or junked within four years, so there might be a time when the rv is removed and the property is not being used or possessed sufficient for prescription. So maybe using the four year prescriptive use alternative to barment will not work for you.
You have ruled out doing a quiet title court case due to its expense.
So if you are not going to do the formal barment process and not going to maintain exclusive possession of the lot for four years and have ruled out quiet title litigation, then you have two ways to go: You can just use the lot as you want and sell it for what you can get when you want which might be only a few dollars at some point. Or finally, since the title is defective at present, get a refund from your seller since she warranted title and deed the property back to her.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You mean sue the grantor right? What is the cause of action if no one is making a claim? The deed states

AND THE SAID Grantor will warranty and forever defend the right and title to the above described property unto the
said Grantee against the claims of all persons whomsoever.

From what I read and we have been discussing even if I ( or can the tax seller still do the barment process?) in GA to get good marketable title one has to go through a quiet title action. Also the barment according to the title report would not cure John W.s potential claim. Isn't that your take?

I think the warranty deed you received is sufficient to support your request for a refund even though no claim is being made against your title. Also there is an implied warranty of marketable title in every real estate sale, unless specifically excluded, so you are entitle to a refund.
To get insurable title you will need a judge's signature on a quiet title order - yes.
If the local attorneys say marketable title requires a quiet title action, then thats the answer.
On the barment, any past owner or mortgage holder lost out when the taxes were not paid, but they have a right of redemption, including the break in chain of title since there is no recorded deed from John W. So if he still owns the property, he should have paid the taxes, he didn't and if upon receiving actual or published notice or barment and he doesn't redeem, then his interest ( whatever it is) is terminated.
Concluding the barment process makes your title more valuable, but it won't make it insurable. As I said if someone pops up to redeem you then torn to your seller/grantor and tell her to defend your title.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just got off the phone with the realtor. The atty she spoke to here ( well actually her assistant) said I basically own nothing re the land because of John W (the one without a deed in the chain) and that the tax sale didn't wipe out his interests. She said I could try to sell it by QC deed but no attorney will close it. Now they are saying a QT action could cost up to $10k.

If I sell it myself what is the language you would put in the limited/special warranty deed that would protect me from the two possible challenges.?

As I have said, it will make no difference to your buyer if you are offering a quit claim or limited warranty deed, since the problems in the title pre-date your ownership and the limited warranty only warrants against competing claims to title that were created by you - that were created after you took title.
In any event, here is the stock Georgia limited warranty deed, except I have added language at the end after **** ALL IN CAPS.
------------------------------
Return to:
LIMITED WARRANTY DEED
STATE OF GEORGIA
COUNTY OF ______
THIS INDENTURE , Made the _______ day of _____________, between _______ of the County of _____, and the State of _____, as party or parties of the first part, hereinafter called Grantor, and _____________ of the County of _____, and the State of _____, as party or parties of the second part, hereinafter called Grantee.
WITNESSETH: That Grantor for and in consideration of the sum of ________ DOLLAR ($___) AND OTHER VALUABLE CONSIDERATIONS in hand paid, at and before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, has granted, bargained, sold and conveyed, and by these presents do hereby grant, bargain, sell and convey unto the said Grantee, heirs and assigns, all that tract or parcel of land described as follows:
_______________________________________________________________________________
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract or parcel of land, with all and singular the rights, members and appurtenances thereof, to the same being, belonging, or in anywise appertaining, to the only proper use, benefit and behoof of the Grantee, heirs and assigns, forever, in FEE SIMPLE.
AND THE SAID Grantor, heirs, executors and administrators, will warrant and forever defend the right and title to the above described property, unto the Grantee, heirs and assigns, against all claims of all persons owning, holding and claiming by through or under the Grantor. ***** BUT IN NO EVENT WILL GRANTOR’S LIABILITY HEREIN EXCEED $_____________, INCLUDING LEGAL COSTS OF DEFENSE OF TITLE.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Grantor has signed and sealed this deed, the day and year above written.
By:__________________________________
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of:
_______________________________
Unofficial Witness
__________________________________
Notary Public
My commission expires:
(Notary Seal)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So to be clear do I need to disclose this title report to future buyers or caveat emptor? Do they have any possible causes of action against me in a limited warranty deed for the defects that occurred before I took ownership?

Update - just myself spoke to the attorney's assistant and she never heard of a barment process and she kept saying when I read her the code section that is the quiet title action and that it has to go to court. Is that a red flag that she never heard of this provision? Hmmm. She still insists that no attorney will touch this without a quiet title action especially because of John W. who never had his deed recorded and then the company sold his lot again (and she said probably the company was planning to foreclose on him but just never did.)

Update 2 - just got this from the attorney's office after I sent her the barment code section :

"The Foreclosure of the Right to Redeem is a valid option for the Tax Sale Deed and the tax sale owner may completed that process. You will need documentation from him to prove this has been done. After 4 years he would have had prescriptive rights, which are not always insurable and is at the discretion of the title company. Ours will sometimes insure after 10 years, depending on the circumstances.

This process does not fix the break in chain from John W. The only way to correct the break is a Quitclaim Deed from Mr. W. or a quiet title action. At this moment, you technically do not own the property. John Waugh is the owner of record."


Scott you disagree with the underlined part correct?

Since the defects are of record you do not need to disclose and your future grantee would have no claims or causes of action against you for defects that arose before you were a title holder.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok thank you and good news I think! I just got off the phone with the tax sale buyer and he said he has copies of the barment foreclosure notices sent to and signed that they were received to all parties that could be a challenge ( john w. and the couple that were the sellers of the tax sale) - they just never recorded them but are willing to do that now along with an affidavit that the barment process was followed. Does that put me in the clear once he/ (actually his wife will do it) files that affidavit even though it is years later?

Scott, If for some reason this doesn't fix the problem do you disagree with this position from the attorney's office I underlined in the last post regarding the redemption barment ?

"This process does not fix the break in chain from John W. The only way to correct the break is a Quitclaim Deed from Mr. W. or a quiet title action. At this moment, you technically do not own the property. John Waugh is the owner of record."

That is great. I see no significance in the delay to record the proof of barment. Good that john W got actual notice. So once recorded that is as good as you can do. The only thing I can think of is, once you confirm the john w got actual notice and can't redeem, is maybe offer him a few bucks to sign a quit claim deed, since you have an opinion that is also needed.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The opinon was from the attorney's asst who never heard of the barment procedure and didn't know it was different from a quiet title action and thought that it was the same thing once I told her. What if I can't find John W ?

Then that is a dead end. I think that if he got notice of the barment than his interest was cut off - but apparently that is a debatable issue that will be resolved if you get a deed from him. But if you can't find him, then no deed and you wait to see what a future closing lawyer thinks about this issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Also, I didn't get the impression from the tax purchaser that he had the sheriff serve these parties just that he sent certified mail letters that someone from their homes signed for and sent back ( I didn't get confirmation that is was actually John W that signed his, but did get confirmation that one of the tax sellers signed theirs). It looks like Sheriff personal service was necessary under § 48-4-45. Was it?

§ 48-4-45. Notice of Foreclosure of Right to Redeem; Time; Persons Entitled to Notice

(a) After 12 months from the date of a tax sale, the purchaser at the sale or his heirs, successors, or assigns may terminate, foreclose, divest, and forever bar the right to redeem the property from the sale by causing a notice or notices of the foreclosure, as provided for in this article:
(1) To be served upon all of the following persons who reside in the county in which the property is located:
(A) The defendant in the execution under or by virtue of which the sale was held;
(B) The occupant, if any, of the property; and
(C) All persons having of record in the county in which the land is located any right, title, or interest in, or lien upon the property;
(2) To be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to each of the persons specified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of this subsection who resides outside the county in which the property is located, if the address of that person is reasonably ascertainable; and
(3) To be published, if that tax sale occurs on or after July 1, 1989, in the newspaper in which the sheriff's advertisements for the county are published in each county in which that property is located, which publication shall occur once a week for four consecutive weeks in the six-month period immediately prior to the week of the redemption deadline date specified in the notice.
(b) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to require that any notice be sent to or served upon any person whose right, title, interest in, or lien upon the property does not appear of record in the county in which the land is located.
(c) The heirs of any deceased owner of any land entitled to notice pursuant to this Code section shall be served by the sheriff or notified as provided in this article.
UPDATE FROM THIS MORNING FROM LOCAL ATTORNEY ASSISTANT:
"Sending John Waugh notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem does not fix the break in chain of title. The ONLY way to fix the break in chain is with a Quitclaim Deed from John W or a Quiet Title Action. Our title insurance company will not insure title to your property and you can only convey the property to someone else with a Quitclaim Deed".
Please start another question - looks like I have about 30 responses to you here.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think in part so many questions were asked is you said at first I was golden and now I'm anything but due to my own research. You were helpful in expanding that research. I would like you to answer the question above now that I rated you.

The prior owners who were foreclosed for failing to pay taxes need to be personally served if they still reside in the county where the property is. Mail notice only goes to parties of record that live outside the county. Also, even if all parties of record were personally served, there is also the requirement of publication. Note that the notice is not directed to any specific person:
====================
"Take notice that:
The right to redeem the following described property, to wit:
______ will expire and be forever foreclosed and barred on and
after the ______ day of ______________, ____. .................
=========================
so if you publish no one is going to get actual notice and respond.
My opinion is that anyone who got actual notice from the tax sale buyer, via mail instead of personal service, and receipt can be proved by certified mail signature, that that person's right to redeem has been cut off. But the goal here is to get good title in the eyes of a title ins co or a closing attorney, so I would personally serve any prior owner that can be found in the county, even if they got mail notice before.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How can one figure out where these people really reside? What is the amount effort required and what should one do? I do find out that the person John W (broken chain) that received the notice and signed for it was John M - yes outside the county but they wrote on it - so the wife told me that they were not the right John W. same last name but different middle initial.