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Bruce Levitt of Levitt and Slafkes is proud to announce a victory in New Jersey

State Court in the case of BV001 REO Blocker, LLC v. HB (USA) Properties, LLC,

Docket No. F-002097-19 (Sup. Ct. N.J. April 17, 2020), where he successfully vacated a tax lien foreclosure judgment allowing a family to get back a home that was taken from them due to their failure to pay ongoing real estate taxes.

In New Jersey, homeowners must pay real estate taxes to the town they live in every quarter. Often, these real estate taxes are included in the mortgage payment and the bank pays the taxes. Homeowners who do not have a mortgage, or whose taxes are not included in their mortgage, must pay their own real estate taxes on time.

The consequences of failing to pay real estate taxes can be disastrous. Unpaid taxes carry interest at 18% per year. When real estate taxes are unpaid, towns sell what are known as tax sale certificates to investors who pay the outstanding taxes. The tax sale certificate owner can also continue to pay taxes on the property, charging the same 18% interest. If, after two years, the property owner does not pay off the amount due on the tax sale certificate and other taxes paid by the certificate holder, the certificate holder can foreclose on the property.

That is exactly what happened recently to a family living in Bergen County. They had been unable to pay their taxes, and their home, valued at over $1.1 million dollars with no mortgage on it, was foreclosed on and taken by a tax lien certificate holder who was owed less than $200,000.00. The family hired the law firm of Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. when they received a notice that they were being evicted from their home which they no longer owned. This was more than four months after the foreclosure was completed.

Attorney Bruce Levitt petitioned the Court to vacate the foreclosure judgment and allow the family to pay the taxes and regain ownership of their home. There were compelling reasons as to why the family had not paid the real estate taxes and/or respond to the foreclosure. Mr. Levitt presented the family’s situation to the Court which included significant mental health and medical problems that they were dealing with during the foreclosure process. Further evidence showed that a prior attorney hired by our client had provided the family with incorrect legal advice. Additionally, our client had the funds to pay the taxes but the prior attorney had given them the wrong date by which to do so. Based on the record, and over the strong objection of the certificate holder, the court vacated the foreclosure judgment and allowed our client to pay the outstanding taxes and keep their home.

The lawyers at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. have been helping homeowners fight mortgage and tax lien foreclosures for more than 30 years. If you have any questions or need additional information contact us by telephone at (973)313-2953 or contact us online.

We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years. The information on this website, blogs and contained herein is for general information purposes only. Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.