? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Jackie in Dallas


Posted by Rob FL on January 07, 1999 at 21:35:14:

I learned in the dodo licensing class I took that the acronym for adverse possession is H.O.T.C.A.N. Hostile, Open, Taxes paid, Color of title, A statutory time period, Notorious. The big problem is “color of title” this means you need to have something which purports to give you ownership of the property like a deed or probate or something. Sometimes it is necessary to prove that the original deed was destroyed if you don’t have something to show at least some reason why you actually own the property. Most title companies won’t insure by adverse possession unless you file suit to quiet the title.

my .02


? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Jackie in Dallas

Posted by Jackie in Dallas on January 06, 1999 at 17:17:10:

I’ve got my eye on several vacant houses that are owned by banks according to the tax records.

The problem is, when I contact the banks they say the property is not and never has been on their records.

It’s like hitting a brick wall!

Got any suggestions?


Re: ? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Joe Kaiser

Posted by Joe Kaiser on January 07, 1999 at 16:26:23:

I have one of these going right now and the two banks involved can only agree on one thing - it belongs to neither of them! Not what I need to hear, fellas. Actually, I’m working on buying a note and deed of trust from an out of state lender, but it’s the same sort of phenom.

Here’s what I do. Instead of trying to convince anyone of anything, I just get copies of the recorded documents and send those to the guy who’s having trouble figuring out what’s what. That usually gets them pointed in the right direction . . . but not always.

However, with that house though, you’ve got another option. Here’s the scary part.

IF that property has been sitting vacant a long time . . .

IF taxes aren’t being paid . . .

IF the bank who I KNOW owns it tells me they don’t and never did . . .

then I’m going to at least think “adverse possession” before tipping my hand to the bank. I’m going to check things out and see if it makes sense to go over there, mow the lawn, change the locks, pay a half year’s worth of taxes and sit tight for awhile.

Please don’t try this if you don’t know why you’re doing it, what’s required from a legal standpoint, and what the risks/rewards are.



Re: ? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on January 06, 1999 at 19:41:38:

I have been successful with banks by simply sending them a letter to the address on the tax rolls or their deed. The letter is addressed to the MANAGER OF THE REAL ESTATE OWNED DEPARTMENT. The letter basically says that I may be interested in buying a property that the bank owns at 123 Elm Street in Orlando, FL. Please call and leave a message for Rob at 818-818-8181 if you are interested in selling now or in the future. My results are usually about 50% or more call back within roughly 2 weeks and either give me some numbers or leave the phone number of the contact person at the bank.

Best wishes.


Re: ? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by BR

Posted by BR on January 06, 1999 at 18:03:04:

Jackie, when you say tax records, if you are referring to the county treasurer records or whoever collects the taxes, sometimes their records indicate who is paying the taxes and not necessarily the property owner. The bank could be paying the taxes from escrow. Check the recorders office or county clerk if you have the legal. In some less populated counties you can just call the local abstract office, give them the legal and they will tell you who the owner of record is.


Re: ? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on January 06, 1999 at 17:52:22:

Just a follow up question from a newbie. I too have found many homes that fit that profile, but haven’t asked the banks anything yet. Did you tell the bank that you got that info from tax records?
I’ve heard that many banks deny this info, but if confronted with your source, maybe they’ll come clean.
Also, maybe you talked to the “wrong” person. and if so, how do we find the “right” person to talk to?
Lots of questions and no answers, from me, so if you get any good ideas, and/or responses, PLEASE post it here. I’d like to know as well.

Also, perhaps check the actual address of the place where the tax bill is sent. Maybe it is some kind of subsidiary or division all its own?
Not a clue and need one too…
Just my added curiousity, and perhaps naive newbie questioning.
thanks for any answers anyone can provide,


Re: ? for Joe Kaiser - Posted by Jackie in Dallas

Posted by Jackie in Dallas on January 07, 1999 at 22:23:24:

Thanks for the response Joe!

The taxes are current.

With all the bank and mortgage company mergers I guess they really just can’t keep up with what they do and do not have anymore.

They have asked me to “prove” they own the houses by getting copies of tax records - foreclosure records, Deeds, etc… what a mess!

I’m thinking of getting them to sign an affidavit that if I can prove they own the houses they PROMISE to sell me the house for what I think it’s worth. Probably won’t work - but it doesn’t hurt to try.

Maybe this will become a whole new angle for buying vacant houses - look for the ones owned by banks that have records so screwed up they don’t even know they own it.

The things we go through…