ARS §12-1103 requires potential litigants to save the unnecessary costs of litigation. If a potential litigant provides the other side with a quitclaim deed to the contested property, a $5 check, and a self-addressed stamped envelope, the receiving party has 20 days to execute the deed and return it. If the receiving party fails to do so and the presenting party is forced to bring a lawsuit to quiet title to the disputed property, the presenting party is entitled to recover all attorney’s fees and costs from the receiving party upon prevailing at trial.
Easements are the right of another to use a landowner’s property without consent. Easements were not generally geographically well-defined in the early days of Arizona country. To this day, we come across easements that have ‘always been that way’ and have never been bounded in any way by a formal survey or restrictions. Questions of whether or not a person can erect a fence or gate over an easement are often fact-specific inquiries and the answer can vary depending upon the circumstances of a particular case. Additionally, easements can be perfected by a non-landowner’s continuous use over a period of time. The claims and defenses available to either party in an easement dispute often depend upon how artfully the Complaint is drafted. The attorneys at Holland Law Group can guide you through the often-complicated process of defining or defending an easement dispute.
The foreclosure process can be perilous for one that does not understand it. In Arizona, there are many safeguards put into place that may protect landowners, including the anti-deficiency statute, the laws regulating deeds of trust, court rules affecting judicial mortgage foreclosures, and the processes indicated in a short sale or deed-in-lieu. Whether you are a lender/investor or a landowner, at Holland Law Group we can guide you through the foreclosure process to ensure your rights are protected and your needs are addressed.
Jointly Held Title
In Arizona, the default for jointly-held property is Tenants in Common. However, property can also be held as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship, Community Property with Right of Survivorship, or under a corporation or limited liability company. At Holland Law Group, our attorneys can guide you through the manner of holding title to real property and the benefits of each.
ARS §12-1211 et seq. provides for a joint owner in real property to ask the court to divide the property among the joint owners. If the property cannot be equitably divided, the court will generally order that the property be sold and the proceeds split. When this happens, parties often confuse the issues and attempt to bring in additional claims that can deter from, complicate, and inadvertently prolong the process. If you find yourself in a partition action, the attorneys at Holland Law Group can protect your rights and interests. Contact us to set up a consultation to discuss your specific matter.
Property Line / Boundary Disputes
Many of the surveys done in Arizona were done in the early part of last century with crude instruments and faulty record-keeping. Gaps and overlaps in deeds are prevalent and can become expensive battles fought between landowners and title companies. The attorneys at Holland Law Group have both fought with and for title companies and can help you maneuver through the mess to resolve the matter.
Questions on what must be disclosed, how title is to be transferred, the use of title insurance, whether or not to use an escrow, inspection periods, and how clear title is determined are all questions that arise upon sale of a property. In addition to having the legal expertise needed to walk you through the sale and acquisition of property, two of the attorneys at Holland Law Group are licensed real estate agents and may be able to help you list and market your property.
The rules of subdividing property require that a public report (a document that requires quite a bit of effort, money, and care to put together) be provided to each buyer of the subdivided property. Additionally, acquiring more than five parcels in a sing subdivision qualifies a person as a statutory sub-divider (whether she splits any parcels or not). Anybody selling property without a public report that has been statutorily-subdivided can be subject to fines and criminal charges. The attorneys at Holland Law Group can walk you through the process of splitting your property without inadvertently subjecting yourself to the subdivision statutes.
Tax Lien Foreclosures
Tax liens are a creature of statute, which means that the courts are to apply a stricter standard to the foreclosure process to ensure that every condition and issue is properly addressed—substantial compliance is not acceptable. The letter of the law must be followed in a tax lien foreclosure. For this reason, tax lien foreclosures are somewhat of a specialty. Having done more than a hundred tax lien foreclosures, the attorneys at Holland Law Group have extensive knowledge and experience in this area of practice.
Although trespass is technically an intentional tort cause of action, it often overlaps with real estate issues. Generally trespass must be shown to have been intentional to be worth pursuing. If, however, it can be shown that a trespass was intentional, a party can recover both actual damages and punitive damages. The availability of these remedies often depends upon how artfully-drafted a Complaint outlines the causes of action. Contact us to discuss whether a trespass claim is warranted under your fact-scenario.
Filing a false lien in Arizona can carry a serious penalty. Pursuant to ARS §33-420, if a person files a lien that is shown to be false, the recoverable damages are $5,000 or triple the actual damages (whichever is greater), as well as recovery of all attorney’s fees and court costs. When the property interests in land are being disputed, it generally recognized that one or both of the parties should file a document called a Lis Pendens. This document, which is generally also recorded, is meant to put the world on notice that the property is subject to the outcome of litigation. Therefore, if a person purchases property subject to a Lis Pendens and it is later discovered that the seller did not own the property, the buyer owns nothing. The decision of whether or not to file a Lis Pendens should be discussed with legal counsel, as a wrongful Lis Pendens is treated as a wrongful lien under ARS §33-420, with potentially expensive ramifications.