What are my rights if my mortgage payment is almost doubling due to property taxes that were misrepresented to me when I purchased my home?

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What are my rights if my mortgage payment is almost doubling due to property taxes that were misrepresented to me when I purchased my home?

I bought a house 1 year ago. I signed papers that my mortgage would be $620 per month. Now after a year, I find out that I owe $2500 for last years taxes. Together with this years estimated taxes, my mortgage will now be $1100 a month. Not doable. When papers were signed, the taxes should have only been $950 for the year, which was 1.1% of the appraised price of the house. What do I do? Do I have any legal ground. I signed a contract thinking my payments would be one thing and now I am being screwedWhat are my rights?

Asked on September 30, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

IF there was a misrepresentation to you--e.g. an actual lie, made knowingly--about the amount of the taxes, you *may* have a cause of action to sue whomever (the seller? the real estate agent? the mortgage broker? the lender?) lied to you. The big question is, was it a misrepresentation? If you were merely given an estimate, for example, or a statement of what past taxes had been, then there likely is no misrepresentation. No one, other than the government, controls what taxes are, so no one else can really limit or control what you will be charged. Therefore, unless there was active deceit involved in some fashion (e.g. changing what the taxes were stated to be on some official tax records provided to you), you may not have any cause of action. The fact that you thought, even with some justification, that you'd only owe a certain amount of taxes does not create a cause of action.


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