Property Tax Lawyer
Anyone who owns real estate may need a real estate tax attorney because they are overpaying county or city taxes. Because so many factors are involved in the value of a property, mistakes are likely to happen. Fortunately, real estate owners can turn to attorneys who specialize in real estate tax-related cases. These individuals work hard to make sure that business and home owners don't overpay taxes to state, federal, and local governments. Not every situation merits the use of one of these lawyers, but when a situation does, it's important to choose one who has a reputation of excellence in this field. The benefit could be thousands of dollars in tax savings.
Every year business owners and home owners alike must pay taxes on their property to cities and counties. These funds support public services such as schools, public safety, local government, libraries, and many others. A property tax lawyer knows that they calculate these taxes on a number of factors, depending on whether the property is residential or commercial. The value of a home and the lot factors in for the taxes of homes. The quality of the neighborhood, building construction quality, and current market prices all factor in as well. A business's earnings and real estate value are factors involved in determining the taxes. This money must be paid to the government, or the owner will most likely have to pay fees on top of what taxes are owed. Jesus did say, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21). Yet, if Caesar (i.e. the government) is asking for the wrong amount, there could be a problem.
Before approaching a real estate tax attorney, it's important to make sure the situation merits one. Business or home owners must use available resources to make sure that they indeed are overpaying on property taxes. An increase in taxes could coincide with a rise in population, changes in the local economy, and/or steady growth in the local area. An increase or decrease may have occurred without all factors considered. For instance, a home owner may have a flood basement that was severely damaged. If the county isn't aware of this, that factor wouldn't be included in the tax revaluation. Therefore, the home owner would need to appeal the tax assessment. If the appeal is denied and the home owner still feels the increase was unfair, then it may be necessary to pursue an attorney and enter into a court case.
Business owners in unusual situations may find themselves benefiting greatly from appealing their property taxes. Unusual situations can include businesses with multiple units, property that is not entirely being used for profit, or a situation in which the property is being sold unit-by-unit. A property tax lawyer can research all of the factors involved and find out if any errors have been made on the part of the assessor. If so, they can move forward with an appeal. The business owner will need to supply all of their records necessary to prove the case. Depending on the size and type of business, the business owner could save anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars in annual taxes.
Home owners who are questioning their property taxes will need to begin by visiting the county website where the home is located. Many larger counties have an easy to use website with answers to basic tax questions. Read over the provided list of frequently asked questions. If that doesn't provide the right answer, don't call a real estate tax attorney just yet. The next step is to contact someone at the local tax office. The larger counties will often also provide a way to either submit an appeal online or print out the necessary documentation for an appeal. This documentation should be detailed and submitted with proof. The home owner with the flooded basement should submit photos as proof of the damage. Smaller counties may require you to mail or submit all of this information in person. If there is no website or the site is unhelpful, call the tax assessor's office. If the appeal is denied, it may be time to find an attorney.
Choosing the right property tax lawyer is important because it could make or break a case. Whether the property is commercial or residential, the owner should start by asking people they know for recommendations locally. A local professional will stand out among less experienced colleagues. However, there could be many local options and narrowing down the field could be confusing. Start by checking with national associations that recognize professionals in this field. They may offer a list of firms in the area. Browse the websites for these firms and then give them a call. This phone call is an opportunity to ask specific questions such as "How successful has the firm been in these types of cases?". The real estate tax attorney may be interested in offering a free consultation. Bring all significant documentation to this meeting along with a list of questions. Find out what fees will be associated with their services up front, so there is no confusion later.
A business or home is an important investment that already costs a significant amount of money to maintain. Taxes, in addition to all other costs, can put a strain on some companies and families, especially if the amount is too high. Knowing what to do and where to turn when an appeal is denied can be tough. A property tax lawyer has all of the knowledge and experience necessary to determine if the property needs to be revalued. With the right attorney and all of the proper documentation, a tax property appeals case can be highly successful.
Real Estate AttorneysReal estate attorneys are the ones who get paid on that line of the closing papers where the words 'attorney fees' appear when a piece of real property is being transferred from one person to another. They are the ones who make sure the property laws that govern transactions in the state where the property is situated are followed, along with the federal laws that may apply. Those who practice law usually stick to one or two areas of specialty, and some choose real estate as their area of expertise. If a landowner has come upon discrepancies in the description of his property, or the title isn't clear, he may consult a firm of real estate lawyers for answers.
Sometimes questions come up between a landlord and his tenant that requires consultation with real estate attorneys to resolve. Landlord/tenant laws are also in their area of expertise. Any questions about what kind of loan a buyer should get to buy a house can be answered by these attorneys, just as they can answer questions about the fine points of the law that may affect the overall legality of the transaction. This branch of law can be complicated, so an expert is needed to make sure the state laws are observed whenever a purchase or sale is contemplated. There are zoning laws that come into play sometimes, and the people involved with land sales must comply with those rules. A house can't be built in an area zoned as commercial, and vice versa. Real estate lawyers would catch the mistake before it was made.
Foreclosures must be done in strict compliance with the law, so a mortgagor will consult real estate attorneys before taking action to repossess property. These laws are in place to protect both parties from being taken advantage of. Contracts often require arbitration before legal action is taken so that the parties can discuss alternatives to a lawsuit. Arbitration has become still another area of specialty for lawyers, and just about every specialty of civil law has some need for these services.
Different kinds of deeds will fill the needs of different land deals, and real estate lawyers are the best experts to consult when that subject comes up. There are different considerations when agricultural land title is being transferred than when a commercial building is changing hands. A house on a lot in town will be handled differently than a house on acreage out in the country. Real estate attorneys will know how to handle these two very different contracts with the least hassle.
Large corporations with extensive land holdings may have real estate lawyers on retainer so the company can move quickly to complete a sale or purchase. The acquisition or sale of large parcels can be complicated. For instance, if a company needs more space for a larger factory, the solution might be to try to buy several tracts of land that are right together. This means negotiating with more than one owner and researching more than one deed to get the deal done. Not having clear title to any one of those parcels could cause the whole project to fall through. These real estate lawyers earn their keep in these situations. Realtors, whether large or small, need to have an attorney to regularly depend on to do the legal work for them so all sale contracts are handled correctly. Since their livelihood depends on everything being in order, realtors must be confident the paper work is in order at all times.
Cities will condemn property to acquire same for municipal purposes under laws of eminent domain, and real estate attorneys make sure the business is done according to the laws in place regarding compensation to property owners, the time owners have to relocate, and the reasons for the city's acquisition--all areas that could potentially cause trouble. Both the municipality and the individuals owning the property have rights and responsibilities that the attorneys will consider when drawing up the papers required to finalize the contract. Land is a valuable commodity in any age, and it must have been a great sacrifice for someone to give up land to help the apostles. "Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:37)
When an individual needs specialty to help untangle a property problem, finding a property lawyer to help is not too difficult. Even if the client lives in a remote area, finding legal help is as close as the Internet. If he doesn't have a computer of his own, the local library probably does, and will allow patrons to look up information. There are a great many specialty listed on the web, and searchers will find them divided up according to the parts of the country they are from so someone searching for help can quickly find help close to home.