Have You Ever Asked…

Can I get clear title to a property by purchasing a tax certificate?

In the world of late night infomercials where bleary eyed eager investors are promised property free and clear by purchasing tax certificates it sometimes  becomes very difficult to separate reality from voodoo land.

Our goal here is to be realistic and more importantly help you understand what reality is. “So do I or don’t I get the property?”  No, no and maybe. What you get is a tax certificate–period, which entitles you to interest—period. Now that being said you may (after holding the certificate three years) get a tax deed.  Then the rules change a little. At this point you are still entitled to the interest, but you also have the right to the use and possession of the property. Do you have clear title? No.

You will never have clear title until you either (1) file and become successful in a quiet title action–performed by your attorney or (2) you otherwise acquire the “balance of title” from the other owners of interest in the property (buy them out).

Now you may be asking “Do I really need clear title?”

Maybe not if: (1) you only want to use or rent out the property, (2) you don’t want to use the property as collateral for a loan, or (3) you never need to sell the property with a clear title.


2 responses to “Have You Ever Asked…”

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  1. Roger Shafer says:

    I have several properties that I have held the deed for over 3 years and would like to get a clear title to them. I am having no luck on finding lawyers in the birmingham area that specialize in this area. Can you help? Thanks and God bless, Roger Shafer

    • Gary Boyd says:

      Hey Roger,

      I can recommend three attorneys that I know have significant expertise in this somewhat narrow area of the law. They are listed below.

      Mark Pickens
      Mark A. Pickens, P. C.
      (205) 933-1169

      Gary Olshan
      Gary S. Olshan, Attorney
      (205) 313-2565

      Will Hereford
      Burr & Forman, LLP
      (205) 251-3000

      Hope this helps.

      Gary Boyd