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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 101594
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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There is a house 2 doors down it has been vacant to 3 years.

Customer Question

There is a house 2 doors down it has been vacant to 3 years. Chase owns the property I have called for 1 year to buy the property Chase said they can not find that they own the property. The county has them as as Owner and paying $327080.00 deed. I have run kids out of there for 3 years, and the place is very run down, can I do a quiet deed since Chase can not find the paperwork at all.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
1) What you are asking about is essentially, can I have the property?
2) Well, if Chase claims that they do not own it, then technically they should not stop you if you attempt to take it over, however, one may or may not have the "requirements" to claim the property.
3) What you seek may be adverse possession. Or otherwise as it is known in common terms, "squatter's rights."
4) According to 38-41-101, et seq., adverse possession can only be claimed if the claimant shows that they have held the property for at least SEVEN YEARS and this was actual, adverse to the real owner's intent, hostile (meaning against the owner's wishes), under claim of right, exclusive and uninterrupted. See Smith v. Hayden, 772 P. 2d 47 - Colo: Supreme Court 1989 (internal citations omitted).
5) Simply chasing kids away for years, that is not enough - one must have occupied it, and for 7 years or more, as well as having to pay taxes on it. It may be up to 10 years requirement if no taxes was paid.
6) Adverse possession is not automatic. This has to be filed in court, and recognized.
7) Now, if Chase claims that they do not own it, and do not respond to a summons when one files for adverse possession, then arguably one can claim whatever they want, and if the Court agrees, then one can get the adverse possession right via court order. The only problem here is that would involve lying to the court, which is not recommended.
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