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What do I do if the people I'm buying my home off of are not paying the property taxes as agreed?

East Syracuse, NY |

I make my monthly payments every month. It is written in my agreement that my payments include the taxes. The people I'm buying the house from are deliberately not paying the taxes. Will I lose my home because they are not paying?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Your question is missing some facts that would help answer this. I gather from what you have said here that your bought the home from the seller with the seller financing the deal instead of taking out a traditional mortgage. I am also assuming that they took back a purchase money mortgage to secure payment from you and that they are requiring you to escrow taxes with them as part of your payment. If that is the case then they are obligated to remit the taxes on your behalf. If they are not paying the taxes you could end up with a tax lien which could eventually be sold and you could eventually lose the house. I would hire an attorney immediately, start paying all future taxes directly to the receiver of taxes, get a record of all past due unpaid tax pay it and deduct the amounts from the principal balance due the seller. If you are in a possition to refinance the house and there is no prepayment penalty then refinance and pay off the seller. They are responsible for unpaid taxes that you paid them and all penalties and interest that has accrued as a result. You should hire an attorney immediately as they are in effect stealing from you and exposing you to penalties, interest and loss of your property.

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  2. If seller not current on his/her Real Estate Taxes prior to the transfer of DEED:
    Unless there has been a Tax lien sale prior to your closing, your Title Company can collect the outstanding Taxes/Penalties from your seller and pay them to the City/County. If you have any questions, please visit us at www.Lawyer4Real Estate.com or call my office at 718-375-3300.

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