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  1. #1
    joetexas is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    10

    Question Notice of Intent to File Suit

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? TX

    Received a notice today that a law firm representing a county, city and school district is going to file a lien against our mobile home for back taxes if we do not pay the property gov. authorities. We do have a mortgage on the home and are somewhat confused, how did the mortgage company get a title to a home that had back taxes owed? The home was purchased in April of 2008.

    Is the only option to pay and go after the mobile home dealership and previous owner for the back taxes? The total back taxes according to the lawyer letter are just over $1K so it may just be a fee I pay for not knowing questions to ask during the closing process. I did double check all paperwork that came with the home and even the 'buyer beware' paperwork did not mention anything about checking back taxes.

    It appears from reading the New Law Changes for Tax Officials pdf that we would not be responsible for the entire amount stated on the attorney's letter or am I missing something? The letter states the following, "With regard to a manufactured home, a tax lien may be recorded at any time not later than six months after the end of the year for which the tax was owed." The tax records indicate the lien was placed on 6/19/2009. Plus the state lien records do not indicate the 3rd entity, Hill County.
    [url]http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/mh/docs/08-NewLawForTaxOfficials.pdf[/url]

    Letter from Lawyers
    [url]http://64.34.177.40/imgs/LetterFromLawyers.jpg[/url]

    Tax Lien Records
    [url]http://64.34.177.40/imgs/StateofTexasTaxLiens.jpg[/url]

    Thank you for your time.What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    joetexas is offline Junior Member
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    Oct 2005
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    10
    Update.

    After months of attempting to call the lawyer and getting the 'we'll call you back' the lawyer called and stated that she was not able to receive a response from the mobile home retailer we purchased the home to get paperwork indicating when the home was moved from the site where the property taxes were assessed. I attempted to contact them myself and they stated they no longer have the paperwork so now I have no paperwork to support that the home was not at the site as of 1/1/2008 to contest the taxes.

    After re-reading the law I am not sure if the liability it mine, the lawyer for the taxing authorities stated the counties/city do not pro-rate so they want to charge me the full amount even though the home was guaranteed not to be there for the last 3 quarters of 2008 and possible the first quarter but again I cannot verify when the retailer gained possession of the mobile home.

    So the questions are these:
    1 - Based on the tax code ([url=http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TX/htm/TX.32.htm]TAX CODE** CHAPTER 32. TAX LIENS AND PERSONAL LIABILITY[/url]) would I be liable for taxes for the entire year?
    2 - Should I be liable at all or should this be the responsibility of the retailer?

    Any additional input or help is appreciated.
  3. #3
    whidbeytomas is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whidbey Island Washington (currently working in Louisville KY)
    Posts
    8

    You first need to sort out the legal issues

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. That may be a mark in my favor, but it doesn't mean I can competently advise you. I can help you think through your situation. Don't let the legal papers and the fact that your opponent has a lawyer discourage you. If you are in the right, the facts will support you.

    The first thing I want in a situation like this is all the facts from the plaintiff. What is the basis for their claim. Why do they hold you accountable? It seems to me that you have asked the plaintiff lawyer for information and they have been slow to respond. Find out what the legal requirements are for them to respond to questions. How can you legally require them to respond? What is the proper process?

    Then I want to know what the law says about their logic (e.g., look at case law).

    Next, I want to check assertions of fact. They assert you have an obligation, what facts do they offer to support that claim (are they hoping you will just pay)? If I purchase property mid year, I owe property tax for only half of the year. I think you are implying the same thing here. Check the law. If your obligation is for a partial year, then you need to assert the date of possession and agree to pay your part.

    You imply that you may be holding the bag because you cannot prove when you took possession of the home. There should be several ways to establish this. If the plaintiff provides no evidence to the contrary, your statement of fact should stand. If you say you took possession mid year, then they need to disprove your assertion (they can't disprove the truth).

    What causes an obligation?
    - Possession at collection?
    - Time of possession (e.g., is the tax obligation pro-rated)?

    What are the facts?
    - Who sold the property?
    - When was it sold?
    - What records exist?
    - Transfer fees
    - permits
    - Mortgage assessment

    Who's liable?
    - The seller?
    - The buyer?

    Who are your allies and witnesses?
    - You are a witness
    - Your family
    - eMails may document facts
    - Bill of sale for the property
    - Neighbors and friends may attest
    - Your mortgage company has a motive to act in your behalf

    Thanks for the interesting case. I hope this helps.

    Thomas
    Last edited by whidbeytomas; 02-13-2010 at 02:10 PM. Reason: additional comment
  4. #4
    joetexas is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    10

    Talking

    Update, item resolved.

    A moving certificate had been issued when the home was moved from the place where taxes were supposedly due. The home was moved in Feb of 2007 which would indicate it was not in the taxing county/school district during the time period they were attempting to assess taxes for, 2008.

    For those in TX here are a few links to help with your search or stimulate some ideas for those in other states.

    To search for manufactured homes might been moved go to the TxDOT Expressway Manufactured housing permits website and search for moving permits. On caveat, their interface is somewhat lacking so you might need to try a few different time periods to isolate when it was moved.
    [url=http://apps.dot.state.tx.us/apps/sb785/785_search.asp]HB785 Report[/url]

    If you want to check if there are tax liens on your mobile/manufactured home search the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs Mobile Home Division Manufactured Home Ownership Records. The Label # or Serial # off of the side of the mobile home should help you find the records on your home.
    [url=http://mhweb.tdhca.state.tx.us/mhweb/title_view.jsp]Manufactured Housing - Home Ownership View[/url]

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