LandInvestors.com Forums **Ask A Question** Issue with title, splitting, legal, damages, fraud

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    Topic
  • #26747
    Anthony
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Hello everybody,

    First time posting and unfortunately it’s about a big issue on my first ever purchase.

    Last summer (2019) I bought some land in Navajo County, Arizona, I received a special warranty deed, and everything seemed okay other than a caveat that I needed to be able to prove legal access before being issued a building permit. I waited a few months and noticed the GIS wasn’t updating to show the parcel in my name, so I contacted the county and they said to me that they had asked the seller to use the “Minor Land Division” process to create the splits he was selling but he did not. I contacted the seller about the issue via email and explained the taxes were still being assessed to them and I didn’t want for them to fall behind, it seems they were paid but the seller seemed to be avoiding me. About 9 months after the sale I left a voice message explaining I will have to file in court if I don’t start getting some answers, and the seller’s assistant finally started emailing me back.

    I had two issues, the first being the land was not split from the parent parcel, and the second being the legal description on my deed is slightly wrong and needs to be corrected. Unfortunately they were not interested in fixing either and simply said “the county changed the rules and we can’t do anything about it.” I then attempted to use an online State-court sponsored mediation service and invited the seller to join me so we can work out our differences, but again the seller was uninterested and declined to use the service. I then received an email from the seller that my card had been refunded the original purchase price of the land, and a quick note from the seller explaining the refund. I never asked for a refund, it was 100% unsolicited, and done in a matter which appears like the seller was trying to cover his a$$.

    I had been planning to bring my trailer down to the land this February when my current lease is up so I can improve and work on it, but the seller is being extremely uncooperative with any suggestions I’ve offered to help them correct the issue. Am I correct in thinking that if the seller does not want to properly divide the land according to the rules the county told him to follow, that I could bring a case for specific performance so the court can ensure he follows through with his duty to perform? If he does’t want to perform am I correct that the seller may be liable for expectation damages due to changes in market price? What about fraud for advertising something he had no intention of making good on, using my credit for 14 months, and lying about the circumstances in light of the county stating the complete opposite?

    I’m getting really concerned because I need to have this fixed by February or I will not have a place to put my trailer, and I will have wasted a lot of time making plans to live on this land. If anyone has any experience in this or knows a good real estate attorney in Arizona who could help for a reasonable amount (should be able to collect fees on winning) can you please let me know?

    Thank you!

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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  • Kevin Farrell
    Moderator
    Post count: 2142

    Assuming for a moment that the seller is correct and that the county rules changed while in the process of splitting this property; The parcel that you purchased was not a legal split and could not be recorded, then I believe that the seller has done everything he can by refunding your money. This may not be the answer that you wanted but, what else can the seller do?

    If you need to pursue this further you should contact an attorney.

    Kevin Farrell - Moderator
    Need more help?
    Schedule a 60 minute call - https://calendly.com/kevin-629

    Anthony
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Hi Kevin, thanks for the reply.

    Assuming the seller is correct, I would really expect that he disclose this information immediately, otherwise it would appear more like a scheme to obtain a free loan. It’s been over a year since the purchase and the market has changed, I am not able to shop at the prices I had availability to before, thus my question concerning expectation damages. I have a special warranty deed, and I guess I was under the assumption that this means the seller had warranted the land against defects caused during his ownership?

    S. Jack Butala
    Participant
    Post count: 120

    Hi, Anthony. I agree with Kevin and will add that the seller may have done you a favor here. The alternative would have been that you moved in and were forced to undo this several years down the road. I’m glad you got your money back and I would personally consider this a win.

    On a positive note we have several mobile home friendly land properties in the Show Low are of Apache County we can lease or sell you. Please let me know below if you are interested or check out LandStay.com and I’ll make sure you get a great deal. Wish you the best.

    Anthony
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Hey thanks for your message, but please understand… I paid finance charges in order to loan the seller money for a year, so I have less now than when I started, hell of a favor.
    I’ve put hundreds of hours into this project and now I’m being made homeless at the last moment, imagine if your bank tried refunding your mortgage and told you to leave your property … it doesn’t really work that way. I appreciate your input, but I really need information concerning ‘specific performance’ and ‘expectation damages’ so I can clear the title on my land. Whether I damage my neighbor by mistake, negligence or purposely, I am liable to make my neighbor whole again. I’m sure you must agree in the Golden Rule, treat your neighbor as yourself? Would you steal from your neighbor and then try and convince him that he really didn’t need his lawnmower anyways? That seems to be what you’re saying is the favor done to me.

    Erin
    Keymaster
    Post count: 92

    Hi Anthony,

    I’m sure we can all empathize with you, but as a whole we do not have experience with these things as we practice going about our business in legal (and honorable) ways.

    We do not have further advice on your situation, and as Kevin recommended, it sounds like your next step should be to involve an attorney. This is not a legal advice forum, and we do not have experience in “specific performance,” “expectation damages,” or anything you mentioned, because like I said, we do not do business that way. You might also find more of what you’re looking for in a forum designed for legal advice. We buy and sell land, but do not typically have legal interactions like you’re describing. You have heard from two of our top contributors – our moderator Kevin and Land Academy co-founder S. Jack. They are two of the best on this forum to give advice, and you are not going to find much here beyond what you have been told.

    Best of luck, and I am genuinely sorry for situation you have found yourself in.

    Anthony
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Hi Erin,

    Did I offend you somehow?

    If I offended you somehow I wish to offer my apologies, however I find your comments not only incredibly ignorant but especially insulting. I’ve lurked on this forum for a while and I see legal issues come up all the time, so it really disturbs me that you would imply that it is dishonorable to recover damages caused by a breach of contract.

    I sincerely hope this is not how you treat all your members who decide to make their first posts.

    Erin
    Keymaster
    Post count: 92

    Anthony,

    I was saying that about the seller that you purchased from. Not you. No offense on my end, just letting you know that your issues are out of scope for us here.

    Thanks.

    Anthony
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Understood, thank you. I hope to be back later working on a new project.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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