i had a house with a mortgage. our house was torn up by the renters and forced to tear down. can i legally drop the homeowners ins. an lessen taxes?

UPDATED: May 24, 2009

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i had a house with a mortgage. our house was torn up by the renters and forced to tear down. can i legally drop the homeowners ins. an lessen taxes?

Asked on May 24, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Please talk to a real estate attorney in your area, before you do anything like this.  One place you can find qualified counsel is our website, http://attorneypages.com

I can see several potential problems here, depending on what all the circumstances are, and your lawyer will have some questions for you.  The first one is that tearing down the house seriously reduced the value of the property -- and while that's obvious, it's a problem because your mortgage balance stayed the same, and you might have some problems with the mortgage company that will make the homeowners' insurance premium small potatoes by comparison.

Homeowners' insurance doesn't just protect the house, it protects you from liability for someone who gets hurt on your land as well.  If there is debris from the house still on the property -- such as a piece of wood with a nail sticking up, in a way that someone might not be able to see it until they got hurt by it -- that would be one example of something you'd still want the insurance to be there for.  However, without the house, you should be able to get a reduced premium, since risks like fire and so forth aren't there any more.

Real estate taxes typically get set, or adjusted, once a year.  If you're not planning to rebuild right away, notify your local tax officials (your attorney can give you details), and you should have your taxes lowered the next time around.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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