Wednesday, May 03, 2017

NH Homeseller's Nasty Surprise: Title To Portion Of Premises Sitting In Neighboring County Was Seized By Town 10 Years Earlier For Unpaid Real Estate Taxes

In Hooksett, New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports:
  • A Manchester homeowner was at an impasse when he went to sell his home, only to find out that part of his Crestview Road property was in Hooksett and tens of thousands of dollars was owed on it in back taxes.

    In 1966, property plans were registered with the Hillsborough County Register of Deeds, showing that the property was in both Manchester and Hooksett. Up until 1975, there was only one deed for the property. But that year, one was made through Merrimack County for the Hooksett part of the property.

    “So now we had two deeds, one for Manchester and one for Hooksett,” said Town Administrator Dean Shankle. “No problem there, but the person who owned in 1997 lost the property by foreclosure.”

    At that point, the bank didn’t know that the property had two deeds, as it was not listed on the plans registered in Hillsborough County. The property was bought in 1997 by Gerard Gamache, according to online records.

    So Hooksett kept sending tax bills to the property, which went unpaid since they weren’t sent to the correct owner. In 2006, the Hooksett part of the property was seized in lieu of the unpaid taxes.

    “So now we own 5,227-square-feet on Crestview Road that has a Manchester resident’s driveway on our property,” Shankle said. “Nobody would have noticed this except the current owners — the Gamaches — are trying to sell their property.”

    The Town Council approved the sale of the property to the Gamaches on Wednesday [April 26] so that they can continue with their sale. The land was sold for $68,000, which is its assessed value. A condition will also be put on the deed, stating that the Hooksett portion is not meant to be built on.

    In all, about $65,000 was owed on the property. “If we get $68,000, we would have gotten back everything we lost,” Shankle said.

    This isn’t the only property like this in town. There are others along the Manchester border that have things like swimming pools and outdoor bathrooms on the Hooksett side of the line.

    “Those we actually tax and the people know it so they pay,” Shankle said.”This just got lost because the bank screwed up when they transferred the property after they foreclosed it.”

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