No Right to Redemption: Real Estate Law Compromises Nothing

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on February 7, 2014

There’s no room for error here. Real estate law is completely finite and almost unforgiving, especially when involving real estate property taxes. Such is the case for the most recent Johnson vs. QBAR Associates case where the plaintiff failed to make those tax payments on her property, allowing the defendant, the property association, to purchase that property at a tax sale. Sad moment for the plaintiff, don’t you think?taxes

To make it worse, QBAR took it a step further and filed for a petition to foreclose Johnson’s “right of redemption.” That simply meant Johnson couldn’t reclaim her right to the property through payment of those owed taxes. The legal title would effectively pass to the defendant, in this case, the Association. The superior court granted that motion, moving the case to a final decree.

Enter the next chess move: Johnson then filed an action to vacate the final decree, to no avail, as the trial justice continued to grant the summary judgment without fail, establishing that Johnson failed to establish that she never received any notice of a petition, nor that any taxes were owed to her. Even after it was taken to the Supreme Court (and, yes, it can and did go that far), the decision remained the same: plaintiff wasn’t deprived of any due process, nor was there any misleading irregularity of procedure.

What’s the moral of this story? Pay your dues on time. Almost always, there are no extensions, no exceptions and no forbearances. This is real estate law. And it doesn’t play around.

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