Foreclosure Title Considerations

Foreclosure sales come with their own unique issues regarding a buyer’s receipt of title to the property. Some of those issues are as follows:

  • The trustee’s deed will have no warranties and will convey the property “as is“.
  • The buyer gets no better title than the trustee had to give.
  • It will typically be the responsibility of the buyer to pay the transfer fees; sometimes referred to as deed stamps. In a normal type transaction, these fees are usually paid for by the seller of the property.
  • The sale could include unpaid taxes and all prior liens on the property. Buyer is strongly encouraged to have a title search/examination done before bidding on a property on the courthouse steps.
  • Fixtures or HVAC (Heating, Ventiliation, Air-Conditioning) system might have a lien which takes priority over mortgage.
  • The neighborhood may actually have HOA defects such as restrictions, easements, and common areas being eliminated as a result of a foreclosure.
  • If there is a federal tax lien on the property being foreclosed, the IRS has 120 days to redeem the property if they were provided due notice on the foreclosure. In these cases, the buyer is encouraged to make no improvements to the property during the 120 day period.

Potential buyers should consult a real estate professional experienced in the process of purchasing properties being foreclosed.

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