New Jersey law.
My brother and I were beneficiaries on an estate and sold the property back in 6/2008. We have now been informed, almost 2 years later, that there is an existing lien on the property that was missed at closing. The lien was placed by the County for some work that was done on the property, specifically a new oil well was dug and the owner was required to live there for 10 years for the debt to be forgiven.
This lien apparently does not get absolved when the owner dies, and both the buyer and seller's attorneys claim the County made a mistake by informing them the lien was no longer in effect at the time of closing.
So now the County has contacted the buyer's attorney requesting payment of $15k on the lien. The buyer's attorney contacted our attorney, who has been trying to persuade us to pay the lien as the beneficiaries of the estate. I don't really understand why he is pushing us to pay it, since the lien is currently on the house and with the current owner/buyer.
But in any event, the buyer had title insurance on the purchase of the home, and from everything I've read, the buyer should be contacting the title company to pay off the debt. I don't really now what happens then at the title company. Our lawyer is stating they will pay it off and then turn around and sue us as beneficiaries for the debt + court costs and attorney fees.
Note that neither my brother nor I were aware of the debt at the time of closing. So since we were not negligent or committed fraud during the sale of the house, will the title company still sue us?
I'm leaning towards not paying anything until we are contacted by the title company. Any advice?
Thanks so much in advance.