I have a question about tax delinquency in Anderson County, South Carolina. I need to speak with someone about how I can

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Customer: I have a question about tax delinquency in Anderson County, South Carolina. I need to speak with someone about how I can avoid a property sale.
JA: Have you talked to a SC lawyer about this?
Customer: No
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We know that the property is up for tax sale on Nov 1. We were told we could still pay before that time, but the site is not allowing us. We contacted the county yesterday about this, asking if we could pay the delinquent tax before bidding. We have not heard back yet. That is all so far
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Yes, the taxes are owed for 2020. We want to know if we'd have to pay both 2020 and 2021 to get the property saved. Additonally, and very important, is that the owners are not alive. My wife is in probate in NY. Ancillary probate has not begun in SC yet. We are wondering how that affects this.
Answered by Jan in 4 mins 1 year ago
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Jan
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Jan, Expert

Hello,

My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney with Just Answer.  I would be happy to try to help you.  I have a couple of questions?


  1. Where do you live?

  2. How  is the deceased related to you?

  3. Does the deceased's estate have an probate attorney probating the estate?

Customer
We live in New York (Suffolk County). The owners were my in-laws. My wife's parents. She was named as executor in the will, but her dad died before he filed it. She has an a court date on Tuesday for letters of testimentary (i think that is what is it called?) to allow her access to the estate to sell and pay for things. Her brothers have signed waivers allowing her to be executor and not disputing
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Jan, Expert

That is a great start?   Did your wife hire a South Carolina probate attorney to represent the estate?  If not she needs to hire a probate attorney  ASAP.  He or she can not only probate the estate of her parent, but he or hse can also stop the sale of their house at the tax auction.

Time is of the essence here!

Customer
We thought that we had to wait until the NY probate was done! We did not know that we could start ancillary probate before that
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Jan, Expert

Just a minute please while I look into this for you.   I will be back.

Customer
When we called the county, the rep told us we had until 10/27 to pay. But now there is an "X" over the button for payment and the site says that delinquent owners can pay "up until it is listed for sale" which sounds to me that we are unable to stop the sale by simply paying the owed taxes because it was listed some time last week and the sale is 11/1
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Jan, Expert

The estate now owns the house.  (Only living people can own property.)

Your wife is the "Personal Representative" of her mother's estate.  (We don't use executor or executrix anymore.  They are old fashion.)

If the house is sold at the tax auction, the owner, or in this case the estate of her mother, has 12 months to redeem the house after the sale.

This is called "the period of redemption."   That means paying back taxes and likely the expenses of the auction will get the house back.  SC laws give  the owners a liberal amount of time to redeem their property.

Customer
but it seems there is no way to just pay and avoid the auction?
Customer
she doesn't have to pay those fees and all thag
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Jan, Expert

The problem is a lawsuit has been filed by the city.  You need to talk to the attorney for the city in this lawsuit.  It is too late to talk to the taxing authority in the city where the deceased lived once a lawsuit ha been filed.

South Carolina is a Judicial foreclosure state. 

That means the city has to file a lawsuit against the owner if they default on paying the property taxes.

If the owner (now the estate) does not file an Answer to the lawsuit , the defendant is defaulted.  The Plaintiff then gets an order from the court to sell the  property at the tax auction.

Your wife or her mother should have been served with this lawsuit.  Apparently it was either ignored, forgotten or not found.  This is why your wife needs to hire a SC probate attorney who practices in the county where the house is located.  The estate's attorney will then contact the city attorney about settling the case by paying back taxes and probably the attorney fees and expenses as well, due to the costs they incurred.

Customer
Ok, thank you
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Jan, Expert

Your wife should call the city attorney's office where the house is located, in the morning and talk to the attorney who is handling the lawsuit to at least let him or her know that the house is in Probate, and there is money available to pay back taxes.  This would be a good start.

Thank you for contacting Just Answer. I hope my legal information has been helpful and meets with your satisfaction.  I hope this will all be settled in probate court, so the estate can keep the house and be passed down to the deceased's heir.  Good luck.

My best wishes for success to your wife the Personal Representative (PR) if her mother's estate,

Jan

Customer
Great, thanks again for your help
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