Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Andrea

Posted by David Krulac on May 14, 2005 at 06:59:49:

  1. paying the taxes would not give you title or justification for a quiet title action.

  2. my reply was to the post sasying after 1 year you’re home free so to speak. My point is that is not necessairly so. In Pa title companies won’t in general issue title insurance without either a quiet title action or a quit claim deed. If the owner is deceased, heirs unknown or the owner unlocatable or uncooperative a quit claim deed won’t work/

Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Andrea

Posted by Andrea on May 13, 2005 at 10:26:21:

There is a house that is almost 5 years behind in taxes. I spoke to the tax assesment office and the house is going up for sheriff’s sale in about 8 months. My question is if I pay the back taxes can’t I just move in and try to take the property through adverse possession? Or if not that is there another way. I don’t want to have to compete with other people at the sheriff’s sale. Also is it quiet title that you do and how exactly does that work. Somebody please help.

Re: Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on May 13, 2005 at 14:59:14:

You hve some good advice from the posters. Adverse Possession is one of the harder things to accomplish and one that the Guru’s make sound like you post… move in and take over.

In Most states there are at least two requirements;

  1. You, or someone representing you, must “Open and Notoriously to the detriment of the Owner” occupy the property for the number of years required by your state statutes.

  2. You must Pay the property taxes on the property for all these years.

3 At the end of all of this you must run a “Quiet Title” action to get good title. Quiet title requires that all prior owners or persons or entities having had and interest in the property for XX years (some go back as far as 60 years) be notified and have the opportunity to say “No Way Jose” and you could be out again.

If anyone else comes along and pays the taxes during your open and notirous occupation…you gotta at the least start over.

If the rightful owner comes along any time during the required period and pays the taxes…you, as the other posts say, are out the door. You are then not an occupant but a trespasser.

As everyone said, go to the tax sale, bid as much as you can and if successful say Thanks…if not move on to the next one.

After the tax sale you must also go through the quiet title action to get good title.

This business is not as easy as the Guru’s make it sound. Rember they are selling information…not results…results are up to you to achieve.

Good Luck,
Bill H

Re: Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on May 13, 2005 at 11:53:10:

Adverse posession is technically possible, but almost never happens in real life. Although some other people on the board disagree with this opinion.

If you do not have clear title on a house for 21 years, you will not be able to finance it, or spend extensive money on fixing it for that time. Generally, it is better to pay the sheriff a bit, and get good title on the house. The advantages of being able to have a mortgage can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 30 year period.

Quiet title is the name for a lawsuit to clear the title. You would file a quiet title lawsuit after 21 years to obtain good title to the property.

In some states the period can be shorter. In California, where I am, the period is only 5 years.

However, the risks of losing all your efforts are large. In my opinion it is just better to pay the sheriff, and make up the money by doing more deals.

Re: Adverse Possession??? - Posted by john

Posted by john on May 13, 2005 at 10:39:25:

Yes it is possible to do that. Just pay back taxes and move in and live there 21 years without someone throwing you out, it can be yours. Will this happen? I don’t think so. But say you do this for 19 years or so and the owner comes along and thanks you for all the tax payments and everything else you have done to his property then tells you to leave you are out alot of money.
You would do better to track down the owner and buy from him than the adverse possession route.

Title good 1 yr after tax sale. - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on May 13, 2005 at 16:53:47:

You do not need to go through a quiet title action after a tax sale. One year after a tax sale, a title co. will insure title gained at a tax sale. I have bought 2 properties at tax sales…

Re: Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Andrea

Posted by Andrea on May 13, 2005 at 11:28:59:

So i fthey do come back would I have to move immediately or do they have to evict me and I have 30 days to move. I’m wondering because I can’t find the owners and I am wondering if they died.

TX-no title for 2 years after tax sale nt - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on May 15, 2005 at 10:05:05:


WHERE? (nt) - Posted by Bill H

Posted by Bill H on May 13, 2005 at 21:52:40:


not necessarily… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on May 13, 2005 at 19:17:34:

depends on your state, depends on the procedure, and depends on if the procedure has been followed to the letter.

One quiet title I’m involved in is in litagation for 14 years and has cost over $50,000.00

Re: Adverse Possession??? - Posted by Michaela-ATL

Posted by Michaela-ATL on May 13, 2005 at 11:39:43:


go to and click on ‘Social Security death index’. Then check if they’ve died. If they have, go the courthouse where they died and see if probate has been done and if any heirs ahve been mentioned. If not, go to your vital statistics office and see, if you can buy the death certificate. Some states you can others you can’t. If it’s an unusual last name, see if there’s someone else in the area with the same. If it turns out, that they were pretty old when they died, then join for free for 14 days. You
can then search the old census records (up to 1930) and maybe can find some of their siblings when they were all living together as children. Then you can start looking for siblings and/or their children. They might be able to get you in contact with their cousins.
You can also search for probate for those siblings, if they lived/died in the same county.
Also, search in for anybody’s address.
Of course, don’t forget to knock on neighbor’s doors or talk to the mailman for that area. They’re a wealth of info.

CA (nt) - Posted by Gavin Wilkinson

Posted by Gavin Wilkinson on May 15, 2005 at 20:23:40:


Re: not necessarily… - Posted by ski

Posted by ski on May 13, 2005 at 19:48:08:

Original poster wanted to pay the outstanding taxes. They did not say that they wanted to buy the tax leins. There is a distinct difference. If you want to pay my taxes go ahead. I will thank you and maybe even kiss you. The big deal is to buy the LEINS.