How can I recover the money I invested into purchasing a property from a sheriff’s office auction?

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How can I recover the money I invested into purchasing a property from a sheriff’s office auction?

I recently purchased a property that was a levied property by the sheriff’s office. From my understanding, the sale was to satisfy a lawsuit against the previous owner. Apparently, I only purchased the previous owner’s interest in the property. The property has tax liens and a mortgage lien. The mortgage company is foreclosing on the property. Is there anything I can do to recover my money? I paid $12,100 at auction plus processing fees for a total of $13,900. I was looking for a small investment property and it backfired on me. Now I just want to try to recover my money.

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately by statute unpaid property taxes are senior to all purchasers of real property. From what you have written, the real property that you purchased at auction was a sheriff's sale to pay an unpaid judgment that was recorded on the property.

The mortgage was senior to the abstract of judgment that was extinguished by your purchase. Unfortunately you took title to the property subject to the unpaid taxes and mortage. In order for you to not lose the property via a foreclosure by the lender or a tax sale, you need to pay off the property taxes and keep the mortgage current.

Unfortunately for you, you took a $13,900 risk and there is no way for you to get the money back unless you can sell the property on the open market subject to the existing liens that are not paid off.


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