What to do if you are sued with a tax sale suit (consult an attorney of course!).

by Chris on July 9, 2012

Today I’m going to flip the coin and discuss a little bit about the tax sale debtor. Essentially, what to do if you get served with a lawsuit to confirm tax title. If it has reached a point where you have been sued you are now in danger of losing your house. Absolutely consult an attorney immediately as there are time limitations that apply.

To defend against losing your property your attorney will likely assert one of the nullities set forth in Revised Statute 47:2122. This most commonly will be a “payment nullity” or a “redemptive nullity.” A payment nullity is straight forward, you already paid the taxes and the sheriff erroneously sold the property. The second defense, and probably the most common, is the redemption nullity. The statute defines this type of nullity as the failure to “duly notify” a party of the right to redeem at least six months before the expiration of the redemptive period.

For the tax sale debtor seeking representation by an attorney be aware of several things. The best case scenario for you is that the tax sale is annulled and you win the suit. Regardless, you will still have to pay back ALL the taxes. As noted in Louisiana Revised Statute 47:2290 winning your case based on a payment nullity you will have to pay “all statutory impositions for which the sale or adjudication was made; all subsequent statutory impositions and all other governmental liens, including interest and penalties; and 10% per annum interest on the statutory impositions.

In the event that you win based on a redemption nullity you will have to pay all statutory impositions forming the basis of the initial tax sale; all subsequent statutory impositions have been paid and all governmental liens; all costs; a five percent penalty and 12% per annum on all statutory impositions. Furthermore, Louisiana Revised Statute 72:2290(B)(1) states that an annulment based on a redemptive nullity has NO EFFECT until these amounts are paid.

In summary, defeating a tax sale confirmation suit will avoid the debtor from losing the property. However, you should anticipate that you will be liable for all the back taxes, the applicable costs and interest, on top of whatever you are paying a lawyer to represent you.


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