Don't be fooled.

Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. It is bad enough when folks lose their homes due to tax arrears or foreclosure but it is sadder when opportunists swoop in like sharks smelling blood in the water. If you are approached by someone who will pay off your tax arrears or your mortgage in return for your deed, don’t fall for the line. In a tax sale, the opening bid is the arrears of your taxes. People bid on the property and if it is a marketable property the bidding usually goes higher than the original tax amount. That surplus, less some small admin fees, is to go back to the original owner. The bonus is that the original owner has six months to redeem the property and much good luck can befall you in six months. If you sell your property to one of these so-called “angel investors” (these guys are no angels) you have then lost your chance to redeem as well as any access to any profit from the tax sale. These “angel investors” are nothing more than predators. In the case of a foreclosure, the bank must put the property on the open market at market value where a willing buyer is willing to pay market value for the property. Again, any overage less some admin fees go back to the property owner that was in default. Should you fall for the line that these guys will help you with an offer to purchase your home for the mortgage owing in exchange the deed, don’t do it. You will have handed over your home for mortgage value only and will not benefit from any proceeds of the bank sale. Your credit rating will remain poor. The worst part of the whole thing is that these “investors” will now flip your property for more than market value to a foreign buyer that doesn’t know any better. They get to pocket the proceeds and in the process skew your housing market. Nova Scotia does their tax assessments annually using recent “solds” as comparables. Now the public will pay higher taxes based on assessments that were calculated on real estate bubble prices. I have seen properties with reassessments of 500% to 900% with the worst one being over 17,000%. People are walking away from their properties because the new assessments are raising taxes beyond what people can afford to pay. There is a new tax sale coming up very soon. The vultures will be poised by their computers the minute the list is published. If you are one of the unlucky ones on that list you can expect a call from an unsavory character pretending to be your friend and offering to pay your tax arrears. Use your best sailor language and then hang up. Do yourself and your neighbours a favour.

Posted by on goCapeBreton.com where you can find and share everything about your local community.



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