Update about my situation…

Since the original thread has gotten crowded and skewed, due to all the replies.

Today I went to see the tax collector/town CFO.

I explained what was going on and here is what I got about the taxes:

At the end of each year, they send a “tax xale” letter to those in arrears -this is the letter I got at the end of 2011. I won’t be getting one this year because it is *only* tax from this year. So he says I have a year to resolve this, more or less.

If you don’t pay up after the tax sale letter, it takes over 2 years for them to actually take the dwelling.

I asked if there was any way to get him off the deed.

He suggested that I have the house reclassified as 2 condos. This would mean an attorney and all kinds of red tape…

PLUS what happens if I want to sell it? I will lose money! i’d be selling one floor of a dwelling vs. a 2 family house for sale.

So I don’t think that solution is so good.

At one point, the gent asked me how old Bro is — and he was kind of surprised to hear this was not some flighty kid or maybe a young 20s person.

And still, I need to get that money from him. I went and saw an attorney; she was busy; I left my number. As of close of business today, she did not call me back.

This mess with him and the house may be much more of a mess than it is. What a lot of shit this is and shit I do not need or want. I’m in an abyss and sinking from my own situation! I need money and I need it now. I have my own expenses to take care of and to meet.

I don’t know how in heck this is going to be resolved for me and I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I need a job stat but you know where that is at.

9 thoughts on “Update about my situation…”

  1. I suspect that your brother would have to consent to any change in the status of the house. Condos do not usually own the land under the units. If you could get the ownership split so that your part of the house owned the land and his apartment was just a condo (preferably with separately-metered utilities, you would be in better shape. From what you’ve told me, there is no separate metering of utilities to the apartment, which is why his utility bills have been a problem to you. Getting separate meters installed would require the breaker box to be reconfigured, a second box to be added with only “his” circuits in it and additional meters installed for electricity, gas (if used), and water, which would cost at least a few thousand dollars. The apartment would also need to have a full kitchen and bath to make it marketable. You would also need to close off any entry into the main part of the house and have only an exterior entrance into the apartment. Making two separate dwellings out of a single-family home and have it all in accordance with the building code is neither easy nor cheap.

    Read about tax sales of houses. I don’t now much about them, but it looks like a way that your equity could be stolen from you. The city gets their taxes, from the tax lien buyer, but you stand to lose your house and get nothing for it. In a foreclosure, if you owed $20K on a house worth $100K, you would get somewhat less than $80K ($100K net of amount owed and costs and fees applied) when the house was foreclosed upon, provided that it sold for $100K. If it sold for less than that, you would get the difference between the sales price and the sum of the mortgage and sales expenses.

  2. The water is the only sole meter. The gas and electric have always been separate.

    Somebody told me to ask an attorney about a quiet title action.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiet_title

    I think what it says is that he would more or less be removed from owning any part of this house or land with it.

    That lump of money he’s got as a distribution to an estate has not gone to his possession yet. That’s been hung up in a sale for weeks already — it’s part of a stock package. Who knows when he’ll get it? That’s the money I’d like to freeze and take — and then try to get him out of here completely.

    Forget turning this into a condo. No way I could do that. And who pays for it…me again???

    Today he is telling me he paid all the water bills. Yeah, not true — he also doesn’t know that I signed up for on line billing for the water utility.

    I want his ass out of here. I’m at wit’s end with the rest of my troubles — and it looks like I may not even get the retail job I applied for; she’s got to wait for a district manager??? You mean the district manager can’t tell the store managers to use their discretion with hiring????

    Another job that looks like a no go — a part time job at a seafood distributor. The ad ran a week and a half ago; they don’t seem very anxious to get the ball rolling and start having interviews. I’ve called the hiring manager (who apparently is only there on a very part time basis) and left a message and I did not get a call back.

  3. Today I tried a pizza place/restaurant down the block — I got a “we’ll let you know” — and a snotty guy answered the line at another company who has a job advertised. All I wanted to know is when interviews were. He said “maybe in 2 more weeks; we got a lot of resumes” and when I said thanks he noisily hung up. NO you’re welcome no nothing.

    It is the same old shit, different day. What happens to us decent people who can’t seem to make progress or headway?

    And it’s like everything is happening to me.

    I don’t even KNOW what is considered “half a house” in legal jurisdiction! I have NO idea what is going to happen here…hell, I can’t even get an attorney to call me back. Are they all busy or what is the story???

  4. Quiet title works for defects in the title. For instance, suppose that you were the one who paid your uncle the dollar for the house. An argument could be made that your brother has no ownership interest in the house, but that is probably tough to make stick because the sale wasn’t what’s called an “arm’s length” transaction, which is a sale between unrelated parties. There are some interesting tax consequences to how you bought your house, but it breaks down to having nothing as a purchase basis to write off against your gains when you sell the house. If I sold my house for $100K net of expenses, I’d have $20K in capital gains that would not be taxable because I paid $80K for it.

    What you are pinning your hopes upon is the “ejectment action”. If you could prove that you have incurred expenses on your brother’s behalf equal to or greater than 50% the current market of your house, you might have a shot at that, but otherwise, no.

    A reason that a lawyer won’t call you back is that it’s a bummer of a case, and isn’t the normal real estate law case. It’s going to be a battle of nerves. You have to be willing to wait him out, and that’s hard to do. The cleanest way of getting rid of him is to get a lien on the house for what he owes, buy him out, and have the amount of the lien plus any interest deducted from the sale of the house. He would get the net proceeds. It isn’t fast and you would have to come to terms with him.

    If the utilities are separate, why are his lights not out? If you’ve been paying the utilities, the first step is to have his utilities put into his name, if they aren’t already. Accounts that are in your name are entirely your right to close as you please. He’d have to come up with the utility deposit and connection fee. The deposit might be substantial due to his bad credit, but is not likely to exceed a couple of hundred dollars.

    I rented my house to tenants when I lived overseas. I sold the house while overseas, but to my surprise, Virginia Power came after me for about $40 that the tenant or the property manager had not paid before they would connect power at my apartment, roughly 16 months after I sold the house. You will need to pay off the electric bill before you can close the account, but at least you can stop the bleeding.

  5. Chances are that when you bought your house form your uncle, you got a “quitclaim deed”, which means that the seller “quit his claim” to the property in return for certain consideration, which in your case is was a small amount of money. What you want to wind up with at the end of all of this is a warranty deed, which gives you clear title back to the time that the house was built. All prior claims on the house are resolved.

    It is worthwhile to check the chain of transfers of the house, if any. If your uncle was the only previous owner and he was the sole owner of the house at the time that he sold it, the only person to contend with is your brother.

  6. I finally got a call back from an attorney. He heard me out and referred me to a larger law firm.

    I cannot see how Bro can DO this — he is cutting his nose off to spite his face. This is his home as much as it is mine and he doesn’t seem to care what happens.

    If he doesn’t care about this house then he should voluntarily get off the deed and go elsewhere.

    My finances are shot, thanks to being out of work. I don’t think I would even qualify for a loan to buy him out and how the hell would I repay the loan? I could tell t hem “I’ll have a tenant” but I don’t think that would qualify me for a loan

    Tenants also move out. I could lock somebody in on a lease but that’s another story.

    This house as it is now is a dump. The garage is shot and gone (a whole story in itself), the roof is bad, the driveway needs repairing — I can make a whole list of what this house needs. All gone to pot because I don’t have the money to pay for it anymore.

    I told you guys Bro needed professional help WHEN he started this lyjng. My mother needed to call child study up at the grammar school and ask for a referral for a mental health professional. Continual lying is a sign of vast immaturity, insecurity and possibly mental illness.

    She needed to nip the lying in the bud — maybe all of this would have been stopped and vanquished 40 plus years ago if she called who she should have called.

    It may also be my last month of health insurance. I can no longer afford to pay for it. Don’t tell me Obamacare don’t tell me this and don’t tell me that. These damn hacks of insurance carriers needed to be chased down and made to lower their premiums: THAT is where it should be at.

    NONE of us should be paying more than $100 per month. That’s my take on it…and MOST of us can sure afford $100. Ditto for even the smallest of employers!

  7. The other alternative that you don’t like is to get the lien and sell the house. You live in northern New Jersey. The house has to be worth something, even as a fixer-upper. The lien would have to be cleared before the house could be sold, so he’d get whatever he was due, less the lien. You’d be able to relocate somewhere else and be free of your brother.

  8. I might have a shot at quiet title because this whole house went to rack and ruin.

    8 years ago when the garage merely needed a repair, I approached him about it. At the time he had somebody living upstairs with him and they did not want to go for buying into the repairs.

    The garage’s roof? Don’t ask how bad it is now. There is no roof on it at all. It rotted away over the years and Sandy did a number on what ws left of it.

    The house needs a new roof. The driveway needs a repair — and that is just to name a few. This is a lot of money that needs to be paid into it — money he KNOWS he hasn’t got. How could he say yes to doing repairs? No way he’d qualify for a loan to pay for it. Maybe the ejectment action would be able to be enforced thanks to his non ability to pay for these repairs.

    This is a lot of money. And I couldn’t pay for it out of pocket due to me being out of work and even before this mess started with him refusing to pay taxes began in 2006, employment was scarce for me then, too. Maybe the

  9. I am going to have to call my credit card company plus Care Credit (more on how I got suckered into that and now I am kicking myself…this is a kewl story for another thread:Care Credit needs to be burned at the stake and I will tell you why) and my health insurance carrier and tell them I cannot pay this month.

    What a fook of a situation to be in. Why me????

    All of this seemed to go bad all at once. I fully expected to be employed months ago — in the past month there have been 2 jobs that never panned out plus perhaps 2 more: I never did get a call back from the seafood place (looking for a part time office person and judging from the looks of their operation — they are in a very little portion of a business complex and multiple people who cannot handle the phones are being permitted to answer them) and as for the restaurant and the pet store, I have yet to hear back from them.

    The woman who manages the restaurant is supposed to call tomorrow. It has been a week and a half since the interview at the pet store. I plan on calling Monday and asking what’s what.

    I don’t know why this happened to me.

    And now there’s a problem with that little bastard that is related to me and lives upstairs???? The hell. He is in for quite the surprise when he finds out his sister is suing him.

    AND I fully plan on listing as “damages” the following issues:

    1-He will not put oil in his tank. He has refused to since 2005! He claims he cannot afford to buy oil.

    And before he said he had no money, I’d get “yeah I’ll get the tank filled tomorrow” “I”ll call them tomorrow for oil…” “I’ll take care of it.” How many times was I supposed to get on him to do something that HE should have taken care of himself???

    The oil company that I use can verify how long his tank has been inactive!

    2-we have repairs that needed to be done for years — if I asked him then to replace/fix this or that, he’d refuse, on the basis he has no money. I never asked. I was having employment problems myself at the time and was short on money. I could have paid for them myself using my savings but I had to watch my pennies.

    The repairs I listed — and others — easily run into the thousands — a roof alone will cost you nearly 20 grand; that garage needs to be replaced now (another story in itself and one having nothing to do with Bro refusing to pay for its replacement) and a prefab garage costs about 50 grand. So just for these 2 repairs alone this is very bad indeed.

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