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mozzy
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« on: November 04, 2016, 11:57:02 PM »

Hi,
I recently called a municipality  to find out what the winning bid was for a piece of property, the person on the phone stated that she could not tell me as the paper work was still being worked on, I emailed the town treasurer if they could provide details of the highest bid and if possible how many bids and they replied that they could not tell me what the highest bid was as this is not public information. I have called many municipalities with no issues and they have always provided to me the information I was asking for. Is this other Municipality correct or are they giving me the run around? Is there any recourse or action that I could take to get this information?

Mozzy
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Dave2
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 02:02:51 PM »

Mozzy:

two Issues possibly here:

First on the winning bidder it seems that as time goes on Municipalities are getting more cautious legally.  Don't know why but
I find it increasingly harder to get winning bid results until it is reviewed by the town solicitor.   Hats off to People Like Ontario Tax Sales who usually do a good job of quick turnaround.   I find this issue is most prevalent with municipalities and their legal advisors who do not do a lot of tax sales.  

Like you sometimes ask what is the high bid as a backup question and while that works in some cases in other cases stymied like you.   One thing I do find if you are the high bidder and on the surface the bid looks clean it is easier to get info.  (Municipalities like to get their money).  This is particularly true if your bid exceeds the next bid by a fair margin.  Cry

Of course if you are a repeat winner or player and treasurer knows you because of that because of past bids that also helps.    

In general don't feel picked on as it happens to us all.   Most nerve racking when combined with further delay for approval from Ministry of Natural Resources and Northern Affairs.   Sometimes though I can understand the need for the delay as I found out last year that there was a producing gold mine 3 lots to the east of the tax sale after the fact.  

In the end once a decision is reached they have to tell you the winning bid amount. They have to also reach it in a reasonable time.  
« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 02:20:51 PM by Dave2 » Logged
mozzy
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 04:45:10 PM »

Dave2,

Thank you for your reply, I  still do not understand why they would not reveal the amount of the winning bid. Ontario Tax Sales does not post all the tax sale results that they advertise, do you know if this is the reason why? One last question, if after giving it some time the Treasurer will still not tell me the winning bid amount what are the options (if any) that i have in finding out.

Thanks again,

Mozzy
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Dave2
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 06:02:50 PM »

Dave2,

Thank you for your reply, I  still do not understand why they would not reveal the amount of the winning bid. Ontario Tax Sales does not post all the tax sale results that they advertise, do you know if this is the reason why?  

The problem in answering this question is the devil is in the details and without getting into them in depth hard to give you a definitive answer.  The answer could be time based (They will eventually answer you but something has happened to take a while to resolve the issue.)  Let me speculate a couple of possible situations but I not an expert in this area.  

First issue is whether you were a bidder on the tax sale question or not.   If you are a bidder there are three outcomes you HAVE TO BE informed about. All of these involve treatment of the bid deposit.    

a) You have the high winning bid and your bid deposit IS HELD PENDING THE 14 DAYS YOU HAVE TO COME UP WITH THE REMAINING 80% PLUS APPLICABLE TAXES.  (e.g.  land transfer tax and/or HST if applicable).  Note the treasurer cannot add a
surcharge for historic property taxes except any taxes owing during the period of the tax sale process. )

b) You are the second place bidder and your bid is held pending a default on follow-up payment by the first place bidder.   In case of a default you will be declared the winner and will have 14 days to come up with the remaining funds.

c) You are not in category a) or b) and your deposit money's should be returned to you promptly.  

Thus if you are a bidder you should be notified.  Occasionally the remaining process is delayed usually because there is a problem transferring title to the winning bidder or there is a legal challenge about the process usually by the property owner who discovers he or she lost the property.  

Last year I had one tax sale property it took close to a year to register title and a lot of my own lawyer expenses but I knew that before I did my bid and allowed for it in my bid price.  The serious players also knew of the problem and decided to pass so I ended up with the problem to solve but in the end it all worked out because I had a first class lawyer working for me with almost 50 years experience.  

Alternatively very occasionally this process is challenged usually by the property owner who discovers after the fact they have lost the property after the property is registered by either the first or second place bidder and launch a legal challenge.

In that case they will sue both the municipality and the winning bidder.    As a winning bidder you do not have a lot to worry about if you followed the rules but recognize it can happen.   I don't have a lot of knowledge in this area, but the most frequent claim seems to be against the municipality in that they did not follow the tender rules or have not been giving proper notice to the property owner.   You are a side action to the main fight but you are dragged into it.  

In this case you have a business decision to make by going for a partial settlement with the former owner if he will negotiate or fighting it out as the new property owner.   (i.e. in the first case allow the owner to buy it back for say 50% (more or less) of the value and then let him or her fight out the main claim with the municipality.)  

This is why you need a good lawyer in this business.  If you do a lot of tax sales expect to be sued sooner or later either when you buy or sell the property.   I have been personally sued twice both as post sale events because I held a (vendor take back) mortgage on the property.  

It is possible you have stumbled over one of these cases or something similar and that is why the treasurer cannot legitimately tell you of results unless you are one of the principals.

On your question on Ontario Tax Sales I just don't know and you would have to get that information from them.  

In general with tax sales remember the old saying about them.  There is a problem with the owner or the property and that is why they are in a tax sale.   That is why you should never pay full price except in a few exceptional cases.  

« Last Edit: November 05, 2016, 06:27:50 PM by Dave2 » Logged
Jayz
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2016, 09:51:30 AM »

Dave2,

Thank you for your reply, I  still do not understand why they would not reveal the amount of the winning bid. Ontario Tax Sales does not post all the tax sale results that they advertise, do you know if this is the reason why? One last question, if after giving it some time the Treasurer will still not tell me the winning bid amount what are the options (if any) that i have in finding out.

Thanks again,

Mozzy

The simple answer is: there is no law against the Treasurer from NOT telling you what the winning bid amount is although most of the Treasurers, from my experiences, were "nice" enough to have told me the results regardless me being one of the bidders or not. One of the options I know to find out the winning bid amount is to wait until the deal goes through the system so you can then find it out from places such as mpac. If you were referring to legal options, there is none.

Tax Sale is a very grey area of the law in my opinion. Other than a few clear-cut fundamentals, you almost can't find clear-cut answers to most of the questions/issues anywhere until those questions or issues practically become yours. And then you will have to pay a lawyer, who likely knows no better than Dave2 on tax sale, to "study" and figure out which law, if any, applies.

For discussion, knowledge-seeking, purposes, here are some recent happenings:
A church for tax sale? - ain't churches exempted from paying property taxes? (well, I do have a guess but wanna hear what others have to say)
Several independent properties have to be bid altogether dependently? - is that even legal?
I discover a few former tax sale properties not sold at tax sale but are now titled to private owners with no open market sales records. - legal? anything fishy?
I know there were discussions about making your own form 7 to save money from cities like Toronto or Mississauga. - Toronto said OK while Mississauga said NOT OK. so?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 10:03:38 AM by Jayz » Logged
mozzy
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2016, 11:55:15 PM »

Thanks Jayz, I think Dave2 was correct in his first response in that once everything is complete  they have to make public the results. I received another  response from the treasurer today, they claim "as per the municipal act, we are under no obligation to release the information publicly within a certain time frame, it is our practice to ensure all processes are complete prior to publicizing results." I guess I will have to wait and see if I get the answer I was looking for.

Mozzy
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raylak
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2016, 09:25:13 AM »

I was just as surprised when I saw a church up for tax sale. Turns out It was privately owned for several years and was shut down. The owner tried to start a business out of it and failed a few times and Alas - tax sale. I would be very worried about the fixes you would be responsible for when you buy a property like a church that has not been touched up for years. On top of that, not sure if this is a heritage building but if it is there is a whole set of rules that apply. Better to do a full search before you go church!

Dave2,

Thank you for your reply, I  still do not understand why they would not reveal the amount of the winning bid. Ontario Tax Sales does not post all the tax sale results that they advertise, do you know if this is the reason why? One last question, if after giving it some time the Treasurer will still not tell me the winning bid amount what are the options (if any) that i have in finding out.

Thanks again,

Mozzy

The simple answer is: there is no law against the Treasurer from NOT telling you what the winning bid amount is although most of the Treasurers, from my experiences, were "nice" enough to have told me the results regardless me being one of the bidders or not. One of the options I know to find out the winning bid amount is to wait until the deal goes through the system so you can then find it out from places such as mpac. If you were referring to legal options, there is none.

Tax Sale is a very grey area of the law in my opinion. Other than a few clear-cut fundamentals, you almost can't find clear-cut answers to most of the questions/issues anywhere until those questions or issues practically become yours. And then you will have to pay a lawyer, who likely knows no better than Dave2 on tax sale, to "study" and figure out which law, if any, applies.

For discussion, knowledge-seeking, purposes, here are some recent happenings:
A church for tax sale? - ain't churches exempted from paying property taxes? (well, I do have a guess but wanna hear what others have to say)
Several independent properties have to be bid altogether dependently? - is that even legal?
I discover a few former tax sale properties not sold at tax sale but are now titled to private owners with no open market sales records. - legal? anything fishy?
I know there were discussions about making your own form 7 to save money from cities like Toronto or Mississauga. - Toronto said OK while Mississauga said NOT OK. so?

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