3 Little-Known Ways You Can Lose An Inherited Property

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Me and my siblings inherited my grandmother’s house. We were served with a foreclosure notice this month. I don’t understand why because the mortgage was paid off years ago and we have been paying the property taxes. Gail, Union, NJ


A: Unfortunately, despite the fact that there is no mortgage on the property, all the other expenses associated with your grandmother’s home also have to be paid. A foreclosure lawsuit can be filed against a property for a past due mortgage, property taxes or for the following 3 little-known expenses: 1. unpaid water/sewer bill 2. Unpaid homeowner’s association dues or for 3. Unpaid condominium association dues

I suggest you do a few things: 1. contact the tax collector in the town or municipality where your grandmother’s property is located and ask if there are any unpaid municipal liens on the property like water or sewer liens. You should also contact the attorney representing the plaintiff in the foreclosure lawsuit and ask for an explanation for the lawsuit and an accounting and full payoff of the outstanding lien that created it. Moving forward, it’s important that you pay the property taxes, water-sewer bill and all expenses associated with your grandmother’s property on a timely basis–failure to do so could result in a lien being placed on the property which may result in you and your siblings losing your grandmother’s property to foreclosure. Thanks for your question, Gail.

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