What can be done regarding a pending property tax foreclosure on house owned free and clear?

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What can be done regarding a pending property tax foreclosure on house owned free and clear?

My father has a secondary home that he failed to pay taxes on due to illness and other financial obligations and now the city is going to foreclose. The house has no mortgage but he doesn’t have the cash to pay off the taxes. Is there anything that we can do? Can we pull out equity in the home?

Asked on April 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can't "pull out equity" from the home unless there is a lender willing to lend to you against the home, and if there is already a large mortgage and poor comps, you are unlikely to find one who will. All you can do is some combination of trying to negotiate with the tax dept. for a lower initial payment and trying to pull the money together somehow--if saving this house is economically and/or emotionally worth it to you--including by potentially mortgaging other property your father or you own.


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