Unpaid taxes impede real estate sales proceeds

'First in time, first in right' determines who receives profits

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On Nov. 15, 2000, Robert J. Ambrose conveyed his house to International Advisory Services Inc. (IAS). On Aug. 11, 2003, the Internal Revenue Service made jeopardy tax assessments for unpaid taxes of $170,890 against IAS. The IRS recorded its income tax lien against IAS on Aug. 14, 2003. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. IAS then assigned the proceeds of the home sale to the Evelyn J. Fisher Revocable Trust. On Aug. 29, 2003, more than two weeks after the IRS recorded its tax lien, IAS sold the property for $202,000. Homestead Title Co. handled the closing at its office where it received an affidavit by Ronald C. Keeling, vice president of IAS, which stated that the property was not subject to any IRS tax lien. At the closing, Homestead issued its check for the $107,728 net proceeds, payable to the estate of Evelyn J. Fisher. However, upon discovering the IRS tax lien, Homestead stopped payment on the check. Homestead then filed this interpleader court action to determine whether the...