Alabama Law: The State Could Take Mom’s House

May 12, 2023 | Allen A. Ritchie | 0 comments

Allen's Answers - Can the state of Alabama take your house?


Alabama is one of a few states which can take your house for unpaid taxes and keep the whole amount.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

I bring this up so you will take a serious look at your parents’ finances. Many older adults have paid off the mortgage on their houses, which means the tax bill is up to them. Sometimes they just don’t get around to it.

A case in Minnesota (another state with a similar law) caught my attention. A 94-year-old woman did not pay the property taxes on her condo, so the state sold it and kept the money. She owed roughly $2,000, and they sold the condo for approximately $40,000.

This case is being discussed at the U.S. Supreme Court, but I wonder if they will formally hear it. By the way, the Court back in 1956 said a government entity could keep $7,000 after seizing property to pay a $65 water bill.

Speaking of old law, one of the lawyers representing the Minnesota lady cited the Magna Carta from 1215, which stated: “that the government could not take more than it was owed.” About a dozen states, including Alabama, don’t seem to agree.

Now in Alabama, this is not the land grab you may think. The process is lengthy, complicated, and you have several years to get your property back. Just pay the taxes.

And what about the mortgage, you ask? Well, not a problem for Alabama. By law, the state just wipes that out when it seizes the property.

Take some time to celebrate Mom this weekend. It may be time to – get around to – looking at her finances.

If you suffer from a personal injury accident – car, boat, on-the-job, slip and fall, nursing home abuse, etc. – you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Plus, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We’ll have some legal information you can use. Plus, we specifically set aside a few hours on Monday morning to answer any questions you may have in real-time. Just call our office.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer