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Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
Photo of attorneys Shelley Slafkes and Bruce Levitt
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Bruce Levitt Gets Property Back for Owner in Tax Foreclosure

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Firm News And Events

After losing a home to a NJ tax sale foreclosure, a real estate investor recently hired Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. to get his home back. With our help, title to the home is now back in the investor’s name and the foreclosure is over.

When real estate taxes in New Jersey go unpaid the city or town normally sells tax sale certificates to investors who pay the outstanding taxes and can receive up to 18% interest on their investment. After two years, if the taxes have still not been paid by the homeowner, the tax sale certificate holder can start a NJ foreclosure proceeding and, if successful, get ownership of the property.

That is exactly what happened to the real estate investor in this recent case. The investor bought the property in early 2019 expecting to quickly renovate and sell it. The property has been vacant since it was bought. When COVID hit in early 2020 the renovations came to a halt and the investor rarely visited the property. Due to a series of mistakes made by the investor, his actual address was not correctly listed on the deed and with the city. As a result, the investor never received a tax bill and forgot to pay the outstanding real estate taxes. A tax sale certificate for the property was then sold by the city some time in 2019.

Two years after the certificate was sold a NJ tax lien foreclosure action was started. Because the investor’s address was incorrectly listed, he never received notice of the foreclosure or any of the later activities in the case. Since he was not visiting the property, he didn’t receive any notices there. Given these circumstances he only recently learned that a foreclosure judgment had been entered and that he no longer owned the property.

The investor was recommended to Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. due to the firm’s experience and reputation defending both mortgage and tax foreclosure matters. Attorney Bruce Levitt determined that despite the investor’s own mistakes regarding his address, serious defects in service of the foreclosure proceeding existed. A motion to vacate the foreclosure judgment was filed and hotly contested. The court ultimately ruled in the investor’s favor and the foreclosure judgment was vacated.

All taxes have now been brought current, the renovations to the property are nearly completed and the investor has a contract to sell the property and will make a significant profit.

If you are facing either a NJ mortgage foreclosure or tax lien foreclosure, contact the lawyers at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. to see if we can help you.

Please call us at 973-313-1240 or online to schedule your free initial consultation today.

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 and blogs is for general information purposes only. Nothing should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.