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How can I transfer a property with liens and back taxes owed to someone willing to take on the responsibility?

New York, NY |

I have a property in my name that I'd like to get rid of. It belonged to my ex-husband who was a real estate investor. He refuses to take the property back now that he's changed careers. The property is abandoned and unlivable. It owes back taxes and has a mortgage attached. I offered the property to someone who wants to invest in it and sell it which is great but this person gave me a quit claim deed which seems to transfer the property but not the corresponding debt. Is this correct? I just want to be rid of the property and all the debt. Please help. Thank you!

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Attorney answers 1


If you are on the note, your transfer of the property by signing a quit-claim deed will not relieve you of responsibility. The new owner's ownership will be "subject to" the existing mortgage (he will not have "assumed" the mortgage--assumptions have largely disappeared from the scene in the wake of the "due on sale" clause).

To be rid of the debt, you need to get paid enough on the sale of the property to satisfy the note. Property taxes typically are not taxes that follow you personally. Certain fines related to the property, or homeowners' association debts probably do attach to you personally, so an attorney may need to go through what is and isn't personal to you.

So your alternatives here are to quit claim the property to the investor and pray, or have a real estate attorney look it all over and tell you where you stand and whether that may be safely done or whether you'll need to collect enough cash from Mr. Investor to take care of the things that can affect you personally.