Where O' Where - Posted by Greg NY

Posted by Redline on February 16, 2001 at 23:49:12:

Where does the tax man send the bills to? If it’s this address then stop by the post office and see about where it’s being forwarded.


Where O’ Where - Posted by Greg NY

Posted by Greg NY on February 16, 2001 at 23:39:51:


This is Greg from NY, I found a prop…empty, vacant, no one around. I figured i should find the owners. I asked the neighbors…they dont know. I go to the court house, tax assessor, i even put up a sign "if you own this house, call xxx-xxxx…I did the hole 10 ways by Joe Kaiser. I can’t find them! Is there a way that a house can just be…THERE ( no owner ). If so, how can i take it???

Greg NY


Re: Where O’ Where - Posted by Lance

Posted by Lance on February 17, 2001 at 19:02:46:

sometimes thinking outside the box isnt good enough, your going to have to go off road if you want to own this house.

Adverse possession etc. - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on February 17, 2001 at 10:22:17:

Adverse possession is difficult and long. Here in Pa the time is 21 years before you can “own” the property.
Every state is different, I think some are as little as 7 years, and as much as 30 years in Louisana. I beleive thatb NY is 20 years. Besides the years your possession must be open, notrious, and hostile. If you can’t satisfy all three then you don’t have legel adverse possession.
That said there is always squatting. You just take over and let somebody else try to unseat you. You couldn’t trabsfer the title as good and marketable, but you could occupy, rent, or even do a lease option, land contract as long as you didn’t transfer the title, which you don’t have.
If you have tried the assessment office or who ever handles the tax bills and they have no record of the owner, this would be extremely rare. Like make 1 in 10,000 or more. I have seen these situations before, but it is very uncommon. An extensive title search will reveal the last know owner. It can be costly, some times these extensive searches are only done by specialists and can cost thousands of dollars and still might not find an owner. Once you find an owner’s name and you can’t locate them, particularily if they died, you could proceed with a Quit Title Action. This is a lawsuit to establish your ownership and can cost abotu $1,000 if uncontested or $10,000 if contested.
David Krulac

Something that has worked for us… - Posted by Brandi_TX

Posted by Brandi_TX on February 17, 2001 at 08:37:46:

If the taxes haven’t been paid in quite some time, chances are that the county has filed suit against the owner. Go to your county clerks office and ask them to pull any suits filed against your owner for nonpayment of taxes. These are public records and you should be able to thumb through the actual file itself.

In that file you should find a bunch of legal papers that document the case and any information on who they served papers to. If there is such a person in the record, give them a call. They may just know where your owner is.

It’s worth a look, good luck!


Re: Where O’ Where - Posted by Bob (Md)

Posted by Bob (Md) on February 17, 2001 at 01:13:55:

The process is called “adverse possession”. Ask a real-estate attorney how to do it in your state. It varies greatly. You should also be able to go to the section of the planning division where land records are kept, and find the plat maps for that area. You should be able to find the property on the appropriate plat map, and it should list some filing system indexes (folio and liber in Maryland) where you can find the original deeds. Then you may have to go to a different section to retrieve copies of the deeds. Anyway, that will at least tell you who owned the house last, and may give you enuf info that you can start skip-tracing the owners.

Re: Where O’ Where - Posted by Nate

Posted by Nate on February 17, 2001 at 24:00:18:

If they couldn’t find the owner, you may have been asking the wrong person and/or wrong questions.

If it’s a tricky case you will have to do the research the hard way:

  1. Look at the tax map for the area (at the property assessor’s office or whatever they call it in your county).

  2. Figure out which property it is. You should have already driven around the area well enough to be able to do this from the tax map.

  3. It will have some sort of ID number - parcel ID, folio ID, again, whatever the heck they call it in your neck of the woods.

  4. The county will almost certainly have SOME record of SOMEONE having owned this at SOME time. If it’s got a tax parcel number, someone has to pay property taxes or it will eventually go to a tax sale. So they must have an address for the owner to pay property taxes. If not, it should have gone to a tax sale and you could trace ownership by seeing who bought it there.

If you still hit a brick wall post here with more details and maybe folks will have some more ideas.
Good luck,