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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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  4.  | Attorney Bruce Levitt Vacated Another Tax Lien Foreclosure and Helped a Senior Get Their House Back

Attorney Bruce Levitt Vacated Another Tax Lien Foreclosure and Helped a Senior Get Their House Back

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Firm News And Events, Foreclosure Defense, Foreclosure Saving Your Home

Bruce Levitt, of Levitt & Slafkes is pleased to announce a victory in the case of Techbiz Solutions, Inc.,vs. Beverly Patton, in which he successfully vacated a tax lien foreclosure judgment which allowed our client to get back her home.

In New Jersey, homeowners must pay real estate taxes to the town in which they live. If the real estate taxes are not included in the mortgage, the homeowner must pay their own real estate taxes every quarter.

Unpaid real estate 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.  In many situations, the foreclosure results in the loss of not only the property itself, but also in the loss of significant equity that may have built up over time.

That loss of equity was the focus of a recent United States Supreme Court opinion which held that tax lien foreclosures that do not result in Sheriff sales are unconstitutional.  A New Jersey appellate court recently applied that Supreme Court decision to New Jersey tax lien foreclosures by certificate holders. For a discussion of these cases see our tax lien foreclosure update. The New Jersey court, however, ruled that the decision only applied to cases that were currently pending.

We were recently retained by an 80-year-old woman who stopped paying her real estate taxes when she suffered a significant financial hardship. She panicked when she learned she could lose her house and as a result failed to act. By the time she came to our office, the foreclosure judgment had been entered for more than a year and she was facing an imminent eviction. She had had lost her home which was valued at $344,000 when she only owed $37,000 in real estate taxes.

In order to get the recent case law to apply, the foreclosure judgment had to be vacated so that it would be considered a pending case. Attorney Bruce Levitt convinced the Court to vacate the judgment by arguing that our client’s loss of more than $300,000 in equity was good cause to do so. Further, our client had the funds to pay the outstanding tax debt.

Because we were able to vacate the judgment, our client will be paying the tax debt, and will keep her home along with its significant equity. This case is just one of many where the lawyers at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. have saved the homes of their clients by successfully vacating tax lien foreclosures.

Contact Bruce Levitt If You Are Facing A Tax Lien Foreclosure

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 973-323-2953 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.