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So I recently had a real estate deal not close.  This is a residential property that we had a standard TREC contract on.  The seller didn't disclose that she had a large federal lien on the property.  I found out about the lien through the title company, after I paid for inspections, survey, appraisal, etc.  We granted the seller several extensions while waiting for her to try to get the IRS to release the lien on the property.  ~60 days after the original close date (and after my lock had expired), I found out the seller submitted the wrong forms and would have to re-start the process w/ the IRS.  I elected to walk away after she couldn't close.

I know I won't be able to get reimbursement from the seller for my out-of-pocket expenses (that I wouldn't have incurred if she had properly disclosed the lien).  How involved is getting a small claim judgment and placing an subordinate lien on the property?  Is this something I could do on my own?  Is it worth my time (we are talking a few thousand dollars).

Any other advice?  I could just let it go...but part of my feels like I need to kick the seller while they are down for wasting my time and trying to pull a fast one on me.

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rufflesinc (Nov. 22, 2016 @ 9:42a) |

In almost all RE contracts and jurisdictions if you already got your deposit back you are SOL. To get your deposit back ... (more)

fourchar (Nov. 22, 2016 @ 10:47a) |

All good points fourchar. Haven't executed the release yet, but I don't want them holding it forever either. I hadn't ... (more)

ryoung81 (Nov. 22, 2016 @ 11:00a) |

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ryoung81 said:   So I recently had a real estate deal not close.  This is a residential property that we had a standard TREC contract on.  The seller didn't disclose that she had a large federal lien on the property.  I found out about the lien through the title company, after I paid for inspections, survey, appraisal, etc.  We granted the seller several extensions while waiting for her to try to get the IRS to release the lien on the property.  ~60 days after the original close date (and after my lock had expired), I found out the seller submitted the wrong forms and would have to re-start the process w/ the IRS.  I elected to walk away after she couldn't close.

I know I won't be able to get reimbursement from the seller for my out-of-pocket expenses (that I wouldn't have incurred if she had properly disclosed the lien).  How involved is getting a small claim judgment and placing an subordinate lien on the property?  Is this something I could do on my own?  Is it worth my time (we are talking a few thousand dollars).

Any other advice?  I could just let it go...but part of my feels like I need to kick the seller while they are down for wasting my time and trying to pull a fast one on me.

  hey op....for heavens sake leave alone the seller....she is already in a soup with the IRS and atleast from your description it appears she is trying to work with the IRS ... most people get overwhelmed with all the forms and paperwork ...let alone the stress that comes with dealing with IRS having a lien on a property that you are trying to sell....

also, there's a remote possibility the seller really did not know about IRS placing a lien on the home.....there is absolutely no way she assumed she can cheat her way out and be able to sell the Home with the Lien...


so..stop from suing the owner...be glad you didn't loose more than what you spent......if you really like rest all things about the Home...then look forward to working with the seller's timeline and buy the house....else go out and buy something else....

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I've already moved on and have another property readying to close. I completely get what you are saying about not messing with the seller. Although, I also feel like that if it had been disclosed -- I wouldn't have spent that money, and I should be made whole on it. We are only talking about a $1500 or so, but that's not exactly chump change either. Is it worth me going downtown and spending a few hundred bucks and a few hours of my time....perhaps?

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go after her listing agent and the real estate firm

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pprogram said:   go after her listing agent and the real estate firm
  On what grounds?

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since when does a seller reimburse a buyer for the latter's due diligence?

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ryoung81 said:   I've already moved on and have another property readying to close. I completely get what you are saying about not messing with the seller. Although, I also feel like that if it had been disclosed -- I wouldn't have spent that money, and I should be made whole on it. We are only talking about a $1500 or so, but that's not exactly chump change either. Is it worth me going downtown and spending a few hundred bucks and a few hours of my time....perhaps?
  OP....the very essence and purpose of you spending that money is to find out / discover such things....
so...your money did a good job and gave you a good ROI....I would suggest leave it there.....it's not exactly like the downtown judge will side with you and say YEAH SCREW THE SELLER .. I AWARD YOU $1500......the judge might as well go easy on the seller and just tell you what I said about your money giving you a good ROI

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What's the basis of your claim?

Is the seller obligated to disclose a lien? It's not on the standard disclosure form. Aren't liens supposed to be cleared at closing?

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supersnoop00 said:   What's the basis of your claim?

Is the seller obligated to disclose a lien? It's not on the standard disclosure form. Aren't liens supposed to be cleared at closing?
 

Good point. So maybe OP's case should not be the seller's failure to disclose but instead check if there are remedies in the contract for seller's failure to perform to close.

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It sounds like the seller might not have known about the lien prior to being informed by the title company, which means she did not knowingly fail to disclose it. It also sounds like she made a good faith effort to remedy the lien. And, you were the one that chose not to pursue the property further.

The only way you would win a lawsuit is if she failed to appear in court and you were awarded a default judgement. Even then, it would be a scumbag move.

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Your contract probably contains language similar to this:

If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money, thereby releasing both parties from this contract. 

Seller failed to deliver the goods.  See a lawyer if you think seeking relief is worth the time and expense.

Edit:  I don't see why everyone is saying that the OP should back off.  This seller wasted his time and money.

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ryoung81 said:   I've already moved on and have another property readying to close. I completely get what you are saying about not messing with the seller. Although, I also feel like that if it had been disclosed -- I wouldn't have spent that money, and I should be made whole on it. We are only talking about a $1500 or so, but that's not exactly chump change either. Is it worth me going downtown and spending a few hundred bucks and a few hours of my time....perhaps?
  Do you also expect sellers to disclose their mortgage to potential buyers?  A tax lien is no different.  Unless she specifically told you there were no encumbrances, there's nothing to go after her for as far as the (lack of) disclosure.

But if you want to go after her anyways, then go after her for breeching the contract by not closing on the agreed upon date.  It really doesn't matter why she was unable to close, the fact is she was unable to comply with the contract.  Unless there is a seller contingency that addresses lien releases (specifically or under a broader clause), in which case you need to just move on.

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dcwilbur said:   Edit:  I don't see why everyone is saying that the OP should back off.  This seller wasted his time and money.
  10000% agree. How do you not reasonably know about a Federal lien? Sounds like bullshit to me.

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jaytrader said:   
dcwilbur said:   Edit:  I don't see why everyone is saying that the OP should back off.  This seller wasted his time and money.
 

  10000% agree. How do you not reasonably know about a Federal lien? Sounds like bullshit to me.
 

Doesn't the OP have the burden to prove the seller did know and did not disclose intentionally?  To simply say 'she should had known' may not be enough.  It may or may not be reasonable.  And what did the seller gain by hiding it? A search on the title brings all liens right away.

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I have an ignorant question - why was the lien even a problem for OP? I thought the whole point of that was to ensure the lienholder gets paid first at the time of a sale. I assumed that just meant the seller would get less, or maybe even have to bring cash to the closing to pay off all liens. So the title search looks for these to make sure they do all get paid and released as part of the transfer of title. If any liens are missed, the title insurance would be liable to cover the debt.

Was this lien some kind of mistake - that's why the seller was working on getting it released, and didn't want to just close and have the IRS paid again for a debt that was already settled? Or is some of my understanding just wrong?

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hobo916 said:   
jaytrader said:   
dcwilbur said:   Edit:  I don't see why everyone is saying that the OP should back off.  This seller wasted his time and money.
  10000% agree. How do you not reasonably know about a Federal lien? Sounds like bullshit to me.

Doesn't the OP have the burden to prove the seller did know and did not disclose intentionally?  To simply say 'she should had known' may not be enough.  It may or may not be reasonable.  And what did the seller gain by hiding it? A search on the title brings all liens right away.

  I don't think we've even established that the seller would have been required to disclose the lien if if the seller was aware of it. That's the first hurdle.  If that is the case, then the buyer would have to prove that the seller was aware of the lien.

The question isn't if the buyer should "let it go;" the question is if the buyer has any legal recourse whatsoever.

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I think hobo makes the best point here. It's not about what happened to you, it's about what you can prove she did to you.

You did 4 things before buying the house: title search, inspection, appraisal, and survey. Any one of those could have come up with a reason for you to not buy the house. Would you sue her for not disclosing water damage or termites that you found during an inspection? Would you sue her if the house appraised for less than the contract price? Would you sue her if the survey found that it was in a flood plain and you needed flood insurance? Any of these things being found (including the lien you did find) doesn't preclude you from buying the property. And anyone of them could have been something she was already aware of and didn't disclose or it could have been news to her.

If you wanted something from the seller, you should have renegotiated the purchase price based on your new information. There was nothing stopping you, the moment you found out about the $XX,000 lien, from going to her and lowering your offer by $XX,000 + $1,500 for your troubles. Instead you walked away (which was probably a smart move). Don't look back.

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The lien issue is not specifically important. If you look at the bigger question of "the seller did not perform the contract we had both agreed to. Can I sue the seller for my out of pocket costs?" then you will have a better answer. You may be able to recover your out of pocket costs, but not the legal fees required to sue the seller for the breach of contract. I would get a consultation from a local real estate attorney. Whether it will be worth your time is going to be best answered by an attorney. Did you deposit funds into escrow to buy the home? If not then arguably you have not completed your obligation and will be unable to prevail in court.

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The language says:
(4) There will be no liens, assessments, or security interests against the Property which will not be satisfied out of the sales proceeds unless securing the payment of any loans assumed by Buyer and assumed loans will not be in default.

If seller defaults:
If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money,
thereby releasing both parties from this contract.

I don't know if other relief is available... but the contract certainly stipulates I have that remedy. I understand some people think the Seller may not have known about the lien, but the size was such that it would be almost impossible for them not to be aware of it. A sizable percentage of the purchase price.

As to legal fees, it says I'm entitled to recover reasonable fees & costs:
ATTORNEY'S FEES: A Buyer, Seller, Listing Broker, Other Broker, or escrow agent who prevails in any legal proceeding related to this contract is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and all costs of such proceeding.

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I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.

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dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  Fair enough.

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dcwilbur said:   Your contract probably contains language similar to this:

If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money, thereby releasing both parties from this contract. 

Seller failed to deliver the goods.  See a lawyer if you think seeking relief is worth the time and expense.

Edit:  I don't see why everyone is saying that the OP should back off.  This seller wasted his time and money.

  
I'm not trying to be a smart ass here, just trying to learn.

I read that and the plain English interpretation seems to leave me thinking there are two clear options
1. Sue to force the sale of the property ("enforce specific performance")
2. Terminate contract and receive refund of earnest money

The third less clear option is
3. Sue for some amount of money as allowed by some undefined law

I interpret that to mean that suing for money, (including reimbursement of inspection fees, appraisals, attorney, etc...) would require citing a law that specifies that the buyer may be reimbursed for those damages.

Of course, many laws are not written in plain English, so some attorney may know of a law on the books that has precedent for getting the buyer reimbursed in this situation. 

Which leads to my last question.... What did your attorney say when you asked?

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dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  
The dollar amount may not make it worth it to sue, but it still may be a good idea to complaint about the seller's realtor.  It's their job to ask the seller these questions and they failed the buyer/seller equally by not helping the seller understand their responsibilities.  If realtors want to charge a 6-7% commission, they should do something to earn it other than take some fish lens pictures and type up a cryptic description in all caps.

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SlimTim said:   I have an ignorant question - why was the lien even a problem for OP? I thought the whole point of that was to ensure the lienholder gets paid first at the time of a sale. I assumed that just meant the seller would get less, or maybe even have to bring cash to the closing to pay off all liens. So the title search looks for these to make sure they do all get paid and released as part of the transfer of title. If any liens are missed, the title insurance would be liable to cover the debt.

Was this lien some kind of mistake - that's why the seller was working on getting it released, and didn't want to just close and have the IRS paid again for a debt that was already settled? Or is some of my understanding just wrong?

  
Yeah I'm curious on this point too.    Why was the lien a deal breaker?

 

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Interesting topic, but...

1. It will take time and money to file a lawsuit. You are going to be busy with your new home.
2. The seller couldn't pay off the IRS (the biggest creditor, next to God)... how are they going to pay you (if you win in court).
3. Court is always a gamble, the risk / reward ratio seems pretty weak for $1500 + court costs.

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If seller defaults:
If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money,
thereby releasing both parties from this contract.


You already chose option B; to cancel the contract and get your earnest money back, and you released her from liability. Option A is no longer available.

As I previously said, the only way you would win a lawsuit is if she failed to appear in court and you were awarded a default judgement.

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jerosen said:   
SlimTim said:   I have an ignorant question - why was the lien even a problem for OP? I thought the whole point of that was to ensure the lienholder gets paid first at the time of a sale. I assumed that just meant the seller would get less, or maybe even have to bring cash to the closing to pay off all liens. So the title search looks for these to make sure they do all get paid and released as part of the transfer of title. If any liens are missed, the title insurance would be liable to cover the debt.

Was this lien some kind of mistake - that's why the seller was working on getting it released, and didn't want to just close and have the IRS paid again for a debt that was already settled? Or is some of my understanding just wrong?

  
Yeah I'm curious on this point too.    Why was the lien a deal breaker?

 

  I'd assume it's because the lien is for more than the value of the house?  So the seller has to get the IRS to accept partial repayment in exchange for releasing the lien.  Or she's on a payment plan secured by the lien, and wants to continue the payment plan rather than use the sale proceeds to pay the debt in full.

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RealEstateMatt said:   If seller defaults:
If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money,
thereby releasing both parties from this contract.


You already chose option B; to cancel the contract and get your earnest money back, and you released her from liability. Option A is no longer available.

As I previously said, the only way you would win a lawsuit is if she failed to appear in court and you were awarded a default judgement.
 

  Not necessarily.  "Other relief" in option A would also include terminating the contract and pursuing actual damages.  While it does say "A or B", option B is one relief available under the umbrella of option A.  I just read option B as being a clean, easy out for a buyer, so that they do not have go through the whole legal process when they just want to be off the hook for buying the house, and not that they are mutually exclusive options that you pick from and are then stuck with.  Basically, the contract is avoiding specifying anything you are entitled to beyond simply walking away; anything beyond that requires taking legal action and securing a judgement in your favor.

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ryoung81 said:   The language says:
(4) There will be no liens, assessments, or security interests against the Property which will not be satisfied out of the sales proceeds unless securing the payment of any loans assumed by Buyer and assumed loans will not be in default.

If seller defaults:
If Seller fails to comply with this contract, Seller will be in default and Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both, or (b) terminate this contract and receive the earnest money,
thereby releasing both parties from this contract.

I don't know if other relief is available... but the contract certainly stipulates I have that remedy. I understand some people think the Seller may not have known about the lien, but the size was such that it would be almost impossible for them not to be aware of it. A sizable percentage of the purchase price.

As to legal fees, it says I'm entitled to recover reasonable fees & costs:
ATTORNEY'S FEES: A Buyer, Seller, Listing Broker, Other Broker, or escrow agent who prevails in any legal proceeding related to this contract is entitled to recover reasonable attorney's fees and all costs of such proceeding.

  Based solely on what you've posted thusfar (and there could be a number of game changing facts that you've omitted or are unaware of), I'd say your case would be rather straightforward.  The bigger question is the probability that you'll ever see a penny of whatever judgement you obtain.  Maybe its better to just put this to bed now, than piss around for years and still end up getting nothing.

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Folks, federal tax lien are not liens against any specific pieces of property. Instead, they only name individual debtors but create a general lien against all their property, including real estate, personal property, etc... The vast majority of the population isn't aware of this, so they think that a federal tax lien has nothing to do with their house.

Regardless, as several people have correctly mentioned in this thread, very few, if any, real estate contracts out there require the sellers to disclose any liens or encumbrances against their residence. Instead, they simply require the seller to convey marketable title at closing, or contain similar wording. Hence, based on the very limited facts that have been posted in this thread, I do not see how a non-disclosure claim would be viable. He could potentially have a breach of contract claim based on the seller's failure to deliver marketable title at closing (this assumes that such a claim is an option under the OP's contract for this specific failure, which it may or may not be), but that's going to be a very factual inquiry, as it's not at all clear from this thread whether the OP has waived his recourse by terminating the contract and receiving his earnest deposit back, etc... Then, there are, of course, obvious issues involving the OP's ability to collect on any such judgment.

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Just wanted to update here. Much of the advice here is very grounded. I had an attorney buddy pull some case law on here as a favor -- it's a valid cause of action. Easier along the lines of breach, but also the disclosure would require anything 'material' to the transaction to be disclosed. Then you get into the issue of whether a large lien is material, which happens rather frequently in commercial RE transactions. Although maybe not a recommended one. Yes, if the Seller can't clear a lien, they certainly aren't going to pay me. Best I can do is get a judgment and hope I get some money one day.

Probably not worth my time, I will likely have somebody send a demand letter -- although I can't imagine it will have much impact.

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ryoung81 said:   Just wanted to update here. Much of the advice here is very grounded. I had an attorney buddy pull some case law on here as a favor -- it's a valid cause of action. Easier along the lines of breach, but also the disclosure would require anything 'material' to the transaction to be disclosed. Then you get into the issue of whether a large lien is material, which happens rather frequently in commercial RE transactions. Although maybe not a recommended one. Yes, if the Seller can't clear a lien, they certainly aren't going to pay me.I have never seen a real estate contract that requires the seller to disclose "anything material." The material disclosure requirement is always in the context of a specific question or statement. So, does your contract and addendums to it impose a duty on the seller to disclose all liens and other encumbrances? If it does, is the disclosure obligation subject to a knowledge qualifier, which, in my experience is always the case.

In other words, even if the documents did impose an obligation on the seller to disclose all liens and other encumbrances, but the seller only had to use his/her actual knowledge for the disclosures, in order to prevail you'd have to establish that the seller had actual knowledge of this specific issue, but failed to disclose it. This would be an especially tall order in this case, as it wouldn't make sense for the seller to list the house if he/she knew that it was subject to a federal tax lien that couldn't be satisfied at closing. Then, you'd also have to establish that you did not waive your recourse by terminating the contract and receiving your earnest deposit back.

These are just some general thoughts based on the limited facts that you've mentioned here. I'm not your lawyer.

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dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  seller didn't refuse to sell though, buyer didn't want to wait .

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rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  seller didn't refuse to sell though, buyer didn't want to wait .

Presumably the contract had a specified term.  The buyer would be under no obligation to agree to an extension.  If the contract said, "close by x date," and the seller couldn't deliver clear title, then the buyer has a case, plain and simple.  

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dcwilbur said:   
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  seller didn't refuse to sell though, buyer didn't want to wait .

Presumably the contract had a specified term.  The buyer would be under no obligation to agree to an extension.  If the contract said, "close by x date," and the seller couldn't deliver clear title, then the buyer has a case, plain and simple.  
 

exactly. and some contracts have a built-in extension to deliver merchantable title (i usually see 30 days at the most)...so if the title isn't clear by then, and no extensions have been agreed to past that point, then the buyer CAN typically pursue the seller. whether it's worth it to do so is another story.

what ISN'T clear here is whether the federal lien was a problem because the seller couldn't pay it off (based on the proceeds of the sale) OR whether they just couldnt get the paperwork sorted out. i've seen it happen both ways, although it's usually the former.

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geo123 said:   
In other words, even if the documents did impose an obligation on the seller to disclose all liens and other encumbrances, but the seller only had to use his/her actual knowledge for the disclosures, in order to prevail you'd have to establish that the seller had actual knowledge of this specific issue, but failed to disclose it. This would be an especially tall order in this case, as it wouldn't make sense for the seller to list the house if he/she knew that it was subject to a federal tax lien that couldn't be satisfied at closing.

  
While the seller may not have fully understood the impact of the Federal Tax Lien, there's 0% chance they didn't know they had a Federal Tax Lien.  Not only does the IRS typically notify the debtor upon filing the lien (certified letters and such), lawyers and debt negotiation firms come out of the woodwork and pepper the debtor with notices offering to help "fix" the lien.

That said, if the IRS can't get the debtor to pay them, there's limited chance the buyer will be able to collect on any judgement they obtain.  I'd say it's throwing good money after bad to pursue this.
 

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civ2k1 said:   While the seller may not have fully understood the impact of the Federal Tax Lien, there's 0% chance they didn't know they had a Federal Tax Lien.
I agree, but as I mentioned above, a federal tax lien is not a lien against any specific pieces of property. Instead, federal tax liens only name individual debtors but create a general lien against all their property, including real estate, personal property, etc...

The vast majority of the population isn't aware of this, so they think that a federal tax lien has nothing to do with their house. In fact, up until the time that I pointed this out, none of the posters in this thread realized that federal tax liens are general in nature and are not specific to people's property, which confusion is understandable given the fact that people are not used to dealing with these types of liens.

Hence, to the extent that the OP's contract imposed any obligation on the seller to disclose all liens and other encumbrances, which in and of itself would already be fairly unusual, such a disclosure would almost certainly have to be made based on the seller's actual knowledge (the contract should specify the knowledge standard). Hence, if the seller was not actually aware that a federal tax lien, which filing only contains individual names, created a lien on all his/her property, including the house in question, then how do you maintain a viable claim based on the seller's lack of disclosure? If the seller had actually been aware of the federal tax lien, then why would the seller even put the property on the market if he knew that he couldn't discharge the lien at closing?

Further, as I mentioned above, the OP would also have to establish that he did not waive his recourse by terminating the contract and receiving his earnest deposit back, which is a very fact specific inquiry.

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dcwilbur said:   
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  seller didn't refuse to sell though, buyer didn't want to wait .

Presumably the contract had a specified term.  The buyer would be under no obligation to agree to an extension.  If the contract said, "close by x date," and the seller couldn't deliver clear title, then the buyer has a case, plain and simple.  

  so what does the buyer sue for? what happens to the house and listing in the mean time? have you ever done this yourself?

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rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   
rufflesinc said:   
dcwilbur said:   I think most of the discussion here is irrelevant.  This isn't a disclosure issue.  The contract is a contract for sale, and the seller failed to deliver the property.  Sue for breach of contract, not for failure to disclose something.
  seller didn't refuse to sell though, buyer didn't want to wait .

Presumably the contract had a specified term.  The buyer would be under no obligation to agree to an extension.  If the contract said, "close by x date," and the seller couldn't deliver clear title, then the buyer has a case, plain and simple.  

  so what does the buyer sue for? what happens to the house and listing in the mean time? have you ever done this yourself?

  
dcwilbur said:   ...Buyer may (a) enforce specific performance, seek such other relief as may be provided by law, or both...

Geez, Ruffles.  Read much?  OP would sue for specific performance AND costs AND anything else he wants.  If he wins, and from a practical standpoint, seller can't deliver clear title, then he could be awarded damages for his troubles.  Collecting is another thing...  

Skipping 17 Messages...
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All good points fourchar. Haven't executed the release yet, but I don't want them holding it forever either. I hadn't considered it would cause the deposit release to be held up for an indeterminate length of time.

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