My Sheriff was awarded some real property by the District Court in a Ch. 59 proceeding. He now wants to sell it. Several questions have arisen from our discussions. Too lengthy to post on here. Would anybody out there be willing to spare a few minutes to visit with me about this?
Without knowing your questions, I may not be able to answer them. I have helped seize and sell a couple pieces of real property under Chapter 59. I would like to hear the questions.
JM, first of all thanks for showing interest in my post. First, is the sale an "as is, where is" kind of sale? In other words, we are not making any representations or warranties of any kind? The reason for asking is that the Deputy thinks there may be an access issue and boundary line issues. If the county is only obligated to sell it as it sits then these and other questions/concerns don't come into play. In my view it would be a buyer beware type situation. Does that shed some light on the situation?
The State can only seize what is contraband. Assuming that the Notice of Seizure and Intended Forfeiture and the Lis Pendins used the property description based on someone's deed then the State inherited any title defects that may have existed, including potential issues of limitations (fences in the wrong place, easements, etc). This is the reason why a pre-forfeiture title search and investigation is helpful. Now that the property is awarded to the State the Sheriff's deed needs to be clear that no warranty is given, much like a Quitclaim, because the Sheriff can only sell what the State seized. If title was clouded at the time of forfeiture the title may well be clouded at the sale since an undiscovered interest holder may not have received notice.
After the sale, title is transferred without any warranties. The buyer should research the title and bid accordingly.
Thanks for the replies. GaryB - If I would have been involved on the front end of this deal, I would have done the necessary due diligence. However, as is usually the case, I got this on the back end and we all know what you usually get from the back end.
Take a look at AG's opinion GA-0122, issued 11/18/03. Addresses title, 59.06 disposition of forfeited property, including sale and lease. It even talks about tax exemption for state property. Worth a read for future reference. I had never been involved in a real property forfeiture before this. Gotta say, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be.
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