I get a lot of calls about quieting title for properties bought at tax sales in Arkansas. Before you call me, consider the following:
- Is the property you purchased subject to a property owner association with dues and assessments? If so, you will get a bill as soon as you accept the Commissioner of State Lands’ deed to you. For instance, Fairfield Bay in Van Buren County charges $75 a month in dues. In a single year, lot may accrue $900 in regular dues. If the State has held the property for a few years, you will get a $3,000 bill. That’s not an investment, it’s a liability.
- Tax sales do not extinguish mortgages and liens of record unless the Commissioner of State Lands gives proper notice. Never buy a tax title without looking at the Commissioner’s notice.
- The County and Commissioner of State Lands will screw something up in the process which may void the sale. In this case, you will have to occupy and pay taxes on the property for two years before being able to quiet title.
- The best deals are typically snatched up by investors in very competitive auctions. There are many, many people who buy tax titles professionally. A few are lawyers. They know which properties are the best deal and have the best chance of success. They will make you pay for a quality title.
- The best deals also tend to be properties where the owner died and lives out of state or had no close family. This creates problems. If you wish for me to quiet title for you right away, I will have to identify and serve the heirs of that person. See number 3. The heirs will likely fight it out if the property is worth anything and will probably win. Thus, there is no quick money to be made. It will be two years before you can get a valid quiet title.
If you reviewed this and think you have a property worth litigating, call me.