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Protecting Clients’ Rights in Tax Sale Litigation and Lien Reductions

Whereas a foreclosure on residential property typically occurs due to defaulted mortgage payments, tax sale litigation involves a lawsuit filed, usually in municipal court, by the city due to an owner’s failure to pay property taxes. Whether you are a homeowner fighting to prevent your house from being sold for unpaid taxes or an investor faced with acquisition problems in a sheriff’s sale, the Philadelphia real estate litigation lawyers at Avallone Law Associates have the experience you seek to protect your rights in a real estate transaction.

Call us now at 215-253-3855 for a free, initial phone consultation.

If you have legal concerns involving Pennsylvania property being sold for unpaid taxes, contact us for experienced legal advice and representation. We also can answer questions such as:

Right of Redemption and Other Key Factors

Tax sale litigation differs from real estate foreclosure litigation in several significant ways:

  • Right of redemption: An owner facing the tax sale of his home has one year to redeem or recover his property from the buyer.
  • Legal occupancy: The property must have had someone legally living in or renting it 90 days preceding the date of the closing — NOT the actual sheriff’s sale date.
  • Buyer reimbursement: A homeowner must pay back the purchase price to the buyer plus 10 percent, and any additional monies spent for improvements made during the time it took the homeowner to redeem the property.

How do we help homeowners in a tax sale?

Our tax sale litigation lawyers can help property owners save their home by postponing a sheriff’s or tax sale in four ways: paying the outstanding tax debt (outright or through a repayment plan), filing an appeal of judgment, filing for bankruptcy or seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the sheriff’s sale. We also handle communications with the city’s solicitor or private law firm the city has hired. In most cases the city is willing to negotiate until it turns over the home to a buyer. As such, it is crucial to seek help from a qualified real estate litigation attorney at our firm as soon as possible.

How do we assist investors?

When a small investor buys a home at a tax sale for 10 percent down, pays the balance due and begins renovations, we help him carefully document his expenses, including attorney’s fees, building materials and labor, and other reimbursable costs after the former owner successfully exercises right of redemption. Our extensive experience handling real estate litigation matters can help you protect your investment in these types of transactions.

How can we help with a lien reduction?

When the city pursues a property for nonpayment of taxes, nuisance or other fair claim, we can also assist investors in getting tax bills and any liens reduced by negotiating a fair price with the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections. Our skilled real estate attorneys will evaluate each claim to be handled on a contingency fee basis, including any type of municipal claim such as:

  • Nuisance properties
  • Deferral of payment
  • Outstanding water or sewage charges
  • Unpaid electricity or gas charges
  • Failure to pay property taxes
  • Failure to pay business privilege tax
  • General municipal charges
  • Abandoned property
  • Residential property
  • Commercial property
  • Complex acquisitions

Contact Our Philadelphia Real Estate Law Office Today

If you are a homeowner or small investor needing legal counsel for tax sale litigation or a lien reduction, contact us at Avallone Law Associates to arrange a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments available: Call 215-253-3855.