Who's On First? - Posted by Doug B(CO)

Posted by William Bronchick on October 07, 2001 at 17:35:25:

First in time recorded wins IF:

  1. Buyer paid value AND
  2. Buyer had no notice of prior transaction AND
  3. Buyer acted in good faith.

Not the case here, since he knows of the prior transfer.

Who’s On First? - Posted by Doug B(CO)

Posted by Doug B(CO) on October 06, 2001 at 14:29:49:

A motivated seller called me in response to a post card I sent to out of state owners of Colorado property. He indicated he owned a single family residence in Jefferson County and had lease optioned it to a tenant/buyer. However, the tenant/buyer had not exercised their option before the option date, had remained in the property for two additional years, and was now behind on payments which was ruining the credit rating of the person that called me.

I went over to look at the house this morning. The tenant wasn’t home, but the teenager that answered the door allowed me to come in and inspect the interior when I explained that the out of state owner had given his approval. I left my business card and a few minutes ago I received a call from the tenant. He claims the out of state owner can’t sell the property because he gave the tenant a quit claim deed. However, the tenant said he will be glad to sell it to me if I am interested.

When I look at the records at the county’s web site I still see the out of state owner as the owner of record. There doesn’t appear to be any record of the quit claim deed being recorded.

Who should I be dealing with here? If the tenant can produce this quit claim deed does that give him ownership of the property even if it isn’t recorded?

Sliding into Home… - Posted by JT - IN

Posted by JT - IN on October 07, 2001 at 21:40:16:


I suppose you could handle this a number of different ways, but I think I would be inclined to proceed as follows.

  • Make a request in writing, of the T/B to substantiate his purported position, of having a Deed. Allow a period certain, 10 days or so, for this to be produced.

  • Provided the T/B does not produce a Deed, (which is doubtful), then have the owner Deed property to you, after doing sufficient title search.

  • Serve T/B notice of eviction, and let this indiividual defend himself as to his claim to the property. This will provide necessary documentation, as to his property rights, if any.

  • Following successful eviction, then proceed with your disposition of the property, and recording of your Deed.

  • if T/B sustantiates his position, then you go away peacably, but this is doubtful, as mentioned.

Be sure not to forward any funds to Owner of record, until the final determination is made, as to ownership rights. Once determined, then finalize arrangements with Owner of record.

Just the way that I view things…


Where is the Deed? - Posted by Ronald * Starr

Posted by Ronald * Starr on October 07, 2001 at 20:37:26:


I stand corrected about you getting a deed from the out-of-state person. Since you have actual notice of a purported deed to the occupant, even if you got a deed from the out-of-state person, the deed to the occupant would have priority over your deed. Sorry, I messed up on that part of it.

But, I agree with the question: does the occupant actually have the quit claim deed or is it in an escrow and could be/could have been recorded if the occupant had complied with the option agreement? But, now that the occupant has not complied with the option agreement, the quit claim deed can not be released for recording. So, if this so, you still may be able to get a good deed from the person who lives out of state.

I think you need to get that question answered. Where is the Deed?

I suggest also that you consult with an attorney in your area who is very knowledgeable about real estate. Try to find one who has dealt before with “creative real estate financing” and lease/option arrangements.

Good Investing and Good InvestigatingRon Starr

Re: Who’s On First? - Posted by JD

Posted by JD on October 06, 2001 at 21:19:51:

Colorado is a race notice State just like Ron described in his post. BUT the occupant of the property has given you notice that he has a Deed to the property, hence if you subsequently obtained a Deed from the out of State guy and then recorded it ahead of the occupant’s unrecorded Deed, it would be worthless (because you already have ‘notice’ of the prior existing Deed). Of course all that is probably academic, since the odds are long that the occupant has a Deed. If he is in default, he will proabably say anything to extend his occupancy of the property. But you have to give this occupant every possible oppourtunity to produce the Deed before you try to work out a deal with the out of state guy.

First Recorded = First in Rights - Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka (Mpls/StP)

Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka (Mpls/StP) on October 06, 2001 at 19:57:13:

In Minnesota, it’s first in time, first in line. The date of recording will establish the priority of the deed.

The law does not require that deeds be recorded. Still, the courts will generally recognize recorded deeds as having priority over unrecorded deeds.

If ownership is in question, a Quiet Title may be filed, in which a court will summons all parties claiming rights or interests in a property. The court will hear the claims, then acknowledge valid claims while “quieting” invalid claims.

Title insurance would be a good option to protect against unrecorded deeds.


Re: Who’s On First?[long response] - Posted by Ronald * Starr

Posted by Ronald * Starr on October 06, 2001 at 19:49:37:

Doug B (CO)---------------------

You may want to consult with an attorney about this. I am not an attorney, and I do not know the laws of CO. I can tell you about what happens here in CA. Whether the same would happen in CO, I don’t know.

In CA, we have what is called “race to the courthouse.” If a property owner gives more than one deed to a property to more than one party, the party getting the deed recorded first at the county recorder’s office, in the county where the property is located, is the new owner. And perhaps the defendant or co-defendant in lawsuit(s).

So, if you get a deed from the out-or-atate person who is shown as the current owner and record it before the renter/new owner/whatever records the purported quit claim deed, you would be the new owner, if things work there as they do here.

On the other hand, if you have seen the quit-claim deed to the current occupant/renter/new owner (?) and it seems to be legal, you could become the new owner by getting some deed from that person.

To tell if the deed is legimate, you probably should see the original copy and get for your use a good quality photocopy you can take with you.

You are looking for: There is a notary’s signature and seal on the the deed (Or, in some states a witness’s signature and an affidavit that the withness saw the owner sign the deed.). The legal description is accurate – matching the deed to the out-of-state person or one that the county has on record as being accurate. The wordage is consistent with deeds in your state. The signature of the out-of-state person matches those of other documents in the county records, such as on a mortgage or deed of trust. Or any other documents you can find that are signed by that person. The deed was signed after the out-of-state person received ownership of the property.

Good Investing and Good Investigating*Ron Starr

Re: Who’s On First? - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on October 06, 2001 at 17:28:34:

Ask the recorded owner about what the tenant said. I’d ask the tenant to send me a copy/fax me a of the deed, although that story sounds suspicious. Boy, not sure about the answer to your Q though. If it were a lien it would sure attach right away before anything unrecorded that someone was holding, but don’t think that is the cse with a deed. Once signed I think it’s a done deal whether recorded or not. If you know someone at a title company you can ask them to be sure.

Re: Who’s On First? - Posted by MSchmidt (IL)

Posted by MSchmidt (IL) on October 06, 2001 at 16:31:22:

If its not recorded, from the way I understand it and you can get a deed recorded, then it would be yours. As to who you should be dealing with, I would say the person that shows up on title at the court house.