Louisiana Record

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Insurance company files suit against a couple for allegedly benefiting from tax sale

By Max Schramel | Jan 19, 2015


NEW ORLEANS – A major insurance company is alleging it lost up to $8,800 for a previous tax sale of which it was unaware.

Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company filed suit against Laurie Anne Witter Howenstine and William Van Howenstine in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Sept. 29.

On Jan. 5, 2005, The Howenstines sold certain property rights to Impressive Printing, Inc., pursuant under a cash sale. On Jan. 11, 2005, Commonwealth distributed a title policy to Impressive Printing Inc. However, the defendants purportedly failed to mention that the property in question was sold previously at a tax sale to Deborah D. Gex. The defendants allegedly failed to pay property taxes in 2003, leaving the property up for auction.

On Aug. 23, 2004, Gex allegedly sold the property to LAPROP Inc. through a subject property deed. On Nov. 16, 2011, Impressive Printing Inc. finally was able to obtain the subject property from LAPROP via this same deed. On Feb. 29, 2012, Impressive Printing Inc. took matters further by filing an insurance claim disputing the aforesaid tax sale in 2003.

Commonwealth reimbursed Impressive Printing Inc. in the amount of $8,800 charged by LAPROP to originally obtain the property.

The plaintiff is represented by Jessica W. Chapman and Mark C. Garrison of Seale, Smith, Zuber and Barnette.

The case has been assigned to Div. H Judge Monique Barial.

Case no. 2014-09473.

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