Four Reasons to Get Rid of that Vacant Property
Properties can be abandoned for a variety of reasons. Getting an abandoned property out of your name, though, can be especially difficult if the mortgage balance is higher than the property value. This type of an abandoned underwater property is more than just a nuisance, it can be a legal problem waiting to happen. Some of these concerns are explained below.
Leaving a property won’t automatically transfer title back to the bank. As a result, you will continue to be liable for any damages or injuries sustained on the property. If somebody walks on your lawn and breaks their ankle, you’ll want to make sure that your insurance policy is still current.
If the mortgage on your vacant property isn’t being paid, negative information will continue to appear on your credit reports. This could impact current credit offers as well as your ability to obtain future credit.
Property Taxes and Association Dues
You will continue to be liable for real estate taxes and association dues on abandoned property you own. The bank might pay these amounts even if your mortgage payments are behind, as property tax liens and some association liens have priority over a mortgage. However, banks are not necessarily required to pay these.
You are also responsible for maintaining abandoned property under city code enforcement laws. If you fail to do so, you may be personally obligated for the repairs.
For these reasons, you should always speak with an experienced attorney to develop a strategy for getting abandoned underwater property like this out of your name. Often, this can be accomplished by a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or a bankruptcy.
Please contact us for a complimentary consultation to review your particular options.