Can a person take oever ownership of your home simply by paying your property taxes?

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Can a person take oever ownership of your home simply by paying your property taxes?

My sister’s rather slimy boyfriend mentioned a scam where people that he knew about would secretly pay back taxes on the homes of the elderly and then scoop the homes up and re-sell them. Does this happen? Is it legal? How do you recognize if someone is trying to run a scam like this on you? I think he may be trying to run this scam on my parents; I don’t know for sure obviously but I saw some erroneous mailer in my sister’s name and some unknown person. I contacted the mailing list providers who told me that those names had been listed as owning my parents home for 30 years.

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Well yes, in some way it can.  Although it does seem slimey it is indeed legal.  There are always isssues of notice to the home owner and each state has laws regarding the ability of the homeowner to redeem the house (by paying the taxes ven after you hve paid them).  If you suspect something with your parent's home I would suggest you take the paper you have to an attorney to help sort it out.  Good luck.


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