ARIZONA HOMESTEAD QUESTIONS
Visit my website for more information about Arizona Homestead Protection and a copy of Arizona Homestead statute. One recent website visitor asked some very good questions about Arizona Homestead Protection that have been answered below:
Non-Payment of Property Taxes
If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will be foreclosed by the tax lien certificate holder who previously paid your property taxes owed 3 years prior. Before the foreclosure process is started you will be sent a demand letter to pay taxes plus interest owed and probably their legal fees, too. The rate of interest on tax liens starts out at 16% at the tax auction and the one who bids the lowest interest rate at the tax auction will get a tax lien certificate… after paying your property taxes for that year. If you don’t pay the tax lien holder the back property taxes and interest within 3 years, you will be foreclosed. If you haven’t already moved out, you will be evicted. Homestead does not protect you against unpaid property taxes owed and delinquent. The tax lien holder gets possession of your property for the cost of the property taxes paid on your behalf at the tax auction after the foreclosure procedure is completed. You get nothing.
Non-Payment of unsecured loans such as credit cards
Zillow value is sometimes close, sometimes not. It is a guesstimate. The value of your property may be more reliably determined by the county tax assessor which would have more validity for you to calculate how much equity you might have in your property. Otherwise, someone would have to pay for an appraisal. Credit card companies, payday loans, unpaid child support, and other unsecured creditors would have to wait for you to have at least $150,000 of equity in your property PLUS the value of their monetary claim they would bring against you before they could initiate judicial foreclosure for non-payment. Probably it's best to negotiate a lower payoff amount you can afford rather than the full amount owed plus attorney costs, too. But if these creditors foreclose on your home, you will receive $150,000 of your equity plus any additional equity in your property after the creditors are paid. The creditors are not entitled to any more than they are owed.
Non-Payment of your Home Purchase Loan
Arizona is a Trust Deed state which grants the lien holder the authority through the designated Trustee to foreclose for nonpayment of the primary and/or secondary loan on the title of your home. This is a 90-day process. If you are unable to make your home payment, contact your lender immediately to discuss your problem and what they are willing to do to work with you.
Professional Legal Advice through the Arizona Bar
I am not an attorney. If you are having problems as described above, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible for professional legal advice. If you do not have an attorney, visit the Arizona Bar website for an attorney referral at www.azbar.org/.
Sam has 27+ years of residential real estate experience in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe AZ, Arizona retirement communities and investment property. During that time he has dealt with many home buyer issues as a listing and buyer agent. He knows what to look for and will point them out to you, gauge the seriousness of the problem and recommend a sound course of action before you accept the house "as is".
Arizona Associate Broker, Graduate, REALTOR® Institute, e-PRO, SFR
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