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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default How Do I Recover My Property After a Fraudulent Deed

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: OHIO

    About mid 1992 I and 3 others inherrited property with a house. 3 of us allowed 1 to stay at the house provided the taxes were paid by the 1 and all was upkept.

    We never kept contact and assumed all was well until recently I researched court records and discovered that the 1 individual had placed on record 3 quitclaim forms with forged signatures of the other 3 all of which released caim to the 1 (date of fraudulent transaction was mid 1998).

    The 1 is on record at the recorder's office as the sole owner and the conveyance is typed as "quitclaim". He then takes a mortgage on the property and defaults on that loan. He is sued and loses by default judgement and vacates the premises. The mortgage company is now not paying the taxes and it falls into deliquency.

    Then the house is auctioned off for back taxes. The taxes are paid from the auction and I assume the remaining money went to the mortgage company who granted the loan to the 1?!.

    The next title is issued as a sheriff's Deed and in the name of a company who then does a fix/flip and then sells it to a couple who currently reside at the address.

    Who owns the house? Do the 3 have any grounds to aquire that property from the current resident? Would the 3 have to file a police report? Is a "quiet title" even feasable after the sheriff's sale? Are we beyond any statute of limitations? Wouldn't we 3 be liable for taxes paid by others over the years, if the property is decreed to be ours?

    Thanks for any help. Feel free to ask for additional information, I'll do what I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: How Do I Recover My Property After a Fraudulent Deed

    You may have a cause of action against the person who forged the quitclaim deeds 12 years ago, but it is difficult to imagine that you'll be able to restore your ownership rights given the series of subsequent transactions and the fact that the home is presently owned by somebody who appears to be a good faith buyer who purchased for market value.

    You can make a police report. The passage of twelve years may make it difficult or impossible to prosecute. The prosecutor may be able to proceed based on fraud, under ORC 2901.13(B)(1), if a year has not yet passed from when you learned of the fraud.

    Should we assume that the relative behind all of this is a deadbeat, and thus is neither willing nor able to pay you for the property interest? You can try suing him, again assuming the statute of limitations has not expired.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Re: How Do I Recover My Property After a Fraudulent Deed

    The 1 is definately a deadbeat and likely unable to pay without garnishment.

    I would think that his selling something that wasn't his to begin with would void such a transaction. Then any transaction after that would become void as well and wouldn't some title insurance somewhere then pick up the tab?

    I can't believe that a court would consider the property as anothers just because they paid fair market value for it.

    If I purchase a stolen painting at fair market value, does that make it more my property?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: How Do I Recover My Property After a Fraudulent Deed

    If I purchase a stolen painting at fair market value, does that make it more my property?
    After the passage of enough time, very likely. It is the passage of time which has worked against you.

    I assume that the fraudulent quitclaim documents were notarized somehow.

    I would be tracking that down for starters.

    As Mr. K has posted the Ohio codes which are relevant, I will not try to interpret them, but only point out that there are exceptions which move the limitation from a date of commission to a date from discovery.

    Knowing who you were dealing with, you should have been more diligent. But you already know that now.

    Nevertheless, you may have some remedies.

    Lying under oath to a notary in Ohio carries some exceptionally serious consequences. Collusion of a notary in a false certification is even more seroius. I am personally aware of an attorney here in Ohio who notarized a shady transaction, was later caught, and had to permanently hand over his license to practice law as part of a settlement agreement. His alternative was state prison.

    I would suggest that you get this before a local attorney ASAP for an opinion and advice as to remedies.

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