Are we responsible for unpaid taxes for property purchased?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Are we responsible for unpaid taxes for property purchased?

We purchased land in Washington County, Utah and found
out after everything had closed that their was 40,000 4
years of delinquent taxes due. The county says we’re
responsible. This was never disclosed by the seller and,
foolishly I guess, we never thought to ask. The realtor says
they didn’t know. Do we have any recourse?

Asked on March 24, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) Yes, you are responsible: the homeowner must satisfy the taxes or the county or town can foreclose--even if it was a prior homeowner who incurred the tax bill.
2) However, you can sue the seller for fraud for having not  disclosed this and recover compensation (e.g. the amount of taxes) from them. Sue quickly and go to court for an order freezing their accounts or requiring them to deposit money with the court--you want to go after them while they still have the money (your money) from the home sale. It would be worthwhile to hire an attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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