What you may want before consulting a lawyer about your tax deed.

by Chris on February 27, 2012

This is one of the big questions people have after buying property at the tax sale auction. In most cases you should be absolutely certain that the three year redemption period is over. Make sure that it has been more than three years from the date of recordation not the date of the actual sale. Although most people seek an attorney at that time, even then an attorney will not be able to give you a legal opinion without first obtaining a property abstract for the property described in your tax deed.

The abstract will track the history of the property by searching back through all the documents available on the public record pertaining to that certain parcel. An abstract can be relatively simple, or it can be very complex, depending on the particular piece of property.  For example abstract will document past sales, mortgages, liens, and a multitude of other documents. An attorney examines the abstract for all “red flags” and makes a determination of who the former owners are, and anyone else who may have an ownership interest in the property. Ultimately, the lawyer will render a title opinion which will indicate who the defendants will be, and how to terminate their ownership interest.

Before going out and getting an abstract on your property keep a few things in mind. Since it is very important I am repeating it: make sure three years have passed since the tax sale was recorded. Make sure that you haven’t received a redemption check from the sheriff or other taxing authority. If your deed is less than 100% then you may want to consult an attorney first. Finally, obtaining an abstract is relatively easy and abstractors/abstracting companies  are widely available in every parish in the state. Visit our links page for more information on contacting an abstract company near you.

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