Are we responsible for unpaid taxes for property purchased?

We purchased land in Washington County, Utah and found
out after everything had closed that their was 40,000 4
years of delinquent taxes due. The county says we’re
responsible. This was never disclosed by the seller and,
foolishly I guess, we never thought to ask. The realtor says
they didn’t know. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on March 24, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you are responsible: the homeowner must satisfy the taxes or the county or town can foreclose--even if it was a prior homeowner who incurred the tax bill.
2) However, you can sue the seller for fraud for having not  disclosed this and recover compensation (e.g. the amount of taxes) from them. Sue quickly and go to court for an order freezing their accounts or requiring them to deposit money with the court--you want to go after them while they still have the money (your money) from the home sale. It would be worthwhile to hire an attorney to help you.


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