Can they get away with this?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by lomath, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. lomath

    lomath New Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    I saw an advertisement on television late one night for the sale of residential lots, I have always wanted to own my own property so I decided to purchase it. I purchased a 2 acre lot 8/8/2003 I put 100.00 down for the lot contracts were signed and notarized on that day. my family and I drove up to look at the lot 2 weeks later the owner told me when we went to look at the lot that a mistake had been made and I very reluntantly agreed to look at another lot. We fell in love with that lot instantly and all that was done on the original contract was the lot number change and we both intinialed the lot switch. We have not had a chance to go and see the lot since our last visit and the title company keeps sending my payment checks back every month. They want to claim they mad another mistake and that that lot also belongs to someone else even thouigh I have a legal and binding and notarized contracts with them. I saw an attorney and he adviced me it would take thousands of dollars to file a law suit against them, money I simply don't have I have also filed a complaint with the attorney generals office. Do I have a leg to stand on and is there any organization out there that I can turn to for HELP without having to pay a large sum of money.... Please help me it is going on two years now and I am at my wits end!!!
  2. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2003
    Washington State
    Oh, Lomath-- I hardly know where to begin. Sounds like the whole deal was a scam from beginning to end. Cutting to the chase, if all you have into this is your $100 earnest money, I'd cut and run. If--and that's a big "if"--you have enforceable legal rights here, it is indeed true that you will probably spend many thousands of dollars getting a remedy. The stench of this entire thing leads me to believe, however, that you were probably taken from the beginning. I wouldn't be able to even hazard a guess without knowing more: Was there a written purchase & sale agreement? Who was the seller? What, exactly, were the terms of the deal? Do you have a title insurance policy that guarantees the seller was the owner of the property? With whom is your contract? Did you get a deed? What kind of deed? I empathize with your dream to own property of your own. However, buying from a late-night TV offer is just not the way to do it. There are reliable, honest ways of finding affordable land--they're discussed every day on this forum. Just takes some time and hard looking. I'm really sorry this happened to you.

    P.S. Before you walk away from this deal, I would make sure that you had a rescission agreement that absolves you of any obligation. I WOULD shell out for a couple of hours of attorney time to see to it that that loose end is taken care of.

  3. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Being in AZ I am curious to know who you were dealing with and where the property is located?
  4. JanO

    JanO Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jun 16, 2003
    Western Washington
    I would also file a complaint with the AZ department of real estate. The are obligated to investigate all claims, per their own regulations.

    By not knowing the specifics of the agreement and title situations I also agree tht it might be worth your while to pay for a couple hours of attorney time to go over all the in's & out's of the contract.

    I'm also curious about where this lot is located. DH & I have 10 acres in Golden Valley ( Mojave County ) that's going up for sale. Your welcome to it if it's what your looking for... 8 seperate lots though.
  5. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I'd get friendly (or make a pest of myself if need be) with someone in the Attorney General's office to see if they could possibly help you out more. You never know where that might get you. I'd also think about getting ahold of a local news station to do some investigative reporting on your situation... so they can do a story on it. They might be able to dig a lot deeper and possibly even assist you more than you'd ever hoped for.

    I'm sure sorry you're going through this, but Amelia's right - buying from a late-night TV offer is just not the way to get real estate.

    But if you're persistent enough, you might just get some results!
  6. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 20, 2004
    Cut your losses from this scam. I hope they did not cash too many of your checks. There is something very wrong here, and you are best to be rid of them. Chalk it up as a learning situation for you.

    Do go through a lawyer & be sure you are totally done & through with them, or they could come after you for non-payment some years from now.

    Bad deal.

  7. ibcnya

    ibcnya Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2004
    South East Iowa
    "I saw an advertisement on television late one night for the sale of residential lots"
    That was your first mistake, replying to the late night riff-raff selling the world to any one they can suck in.
    I'm not disrespecting your wanting to have your own place in anyway. Cut your losses and learn from your misfortune. Coz I dang sure have made mine if that makes ya feel any better.
  8. Oilpatch197

    Oilpatch197 Well-Known Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    SouthEastern Illinois
    infomercials are mostly not for your benefiet, unless it has Troy Built, Ronco, or the Unbreakable knives in it.
  9. renabeth

    renabeth Well-Known Member

    Aug 7, 2002
    Try calling a law school-they have legal aid clinics where students get to practice on you. I'm not sure how you get them to take your case though. But it is worth a shot. I guess I really don't understand what your damages are. Have you made payments on the land that they kept? Do you want to force them to sell the property to you and honor the original agreement? I am not an expert in this, but it would help to know what money or anything else you are out of pocket. You probably will ony have a case if you have some type of damages. Most courts do not order punitive damages (to punish) in contract disputes. Some times they do, like in cases where it violates public policy. (This might be one, especially if you could prove that they SOLD the same piece of property to twenty people. In fact, if they did that then you could all sue together and split the lawyer bills and have a much stronger case.) Maybe you should do a little research and try to find out if they have scammed others. I am not a lawyer-this advice is worth what you paid for it (zero) :)
    Good luck
  10. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    You bought real estate from someone who advertised on late night television? What did you expect was going to happen? Walk away from the whole thing. You're never getting your money back. Don't waste your time and effort on a legal battle. You're never getting any land or money from these people. Chalk it up as a lesson learned.

    Don't ever buy real estate like this again. Get a buyer's agent who legally represents you.

    Never buy real estate, time shares, vacations, insurance, GC services, investments of any kind or used cars from anyone who either advertises on television or uses direct marketing through the mail or phone. Good real estate agents and good professionals of any kind do not need to advertise once they have been in business for a year or so. They get repeat business and recommendations. Professionals in these industries who advertise heavily have to do that because nobody comes back to them. They need a constant flow of new 'prey' in order to stay afloat.

    My company doesn't advertise and neither do most of the agencies that I do business with. We're honest and good at what we do so we barely have time for the business that keeps coming back.

  11. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

    May 8, 2002
    central New South Wales, Australia
    Do a Google search on "Arizona small claims court". If you can't get your land, this may at least be a way for you to get money back and some compensation for your time, effort and costs.

    SRSLADE Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Did you or do you pay taxes on this property?
  13. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    You leave us puzzled as to exactly what your problem is???? Sounds like so far you are only out $100 from your pocket. Could be far worse.

    The other fact missing, can you accurately identify by name the persons involved and exactly who the business, company or whatever it is and what legal status that may have.

    It would seem your real complaint is you want the land and are willing to pay more money. But you seem to be totally short on the facts as to who the real owner is and exactly what has gone on with this deal. Did you ever know exactly who you were dealing with in terms of the other party??? What sort of closing was done, just having a contract to buy is normally only the opening phase???? Depending on what you signed, may / may not have any remedies, what is the time frame allowed to actually close the deal????? Exactly what are the terms, fine print, etc?????

    Might be something like an honest mistake, especially if they refuse to accept any additional payment. If they have engaged in selling the same piece of land to many different people, you probably have more than a civil case. Doesn't take much to be criminal these days. Especially if they are selling something they don't own. Maybe they are claiming that was your good faith money and somehow you are the one at fault. Also seems somehow you are missing any form of meaningful communications channel or maybe even anyone responsible to talk too. :D

    Your options are probably.

    1. Put hands in pockets and walk away.

    2. Do some legwork, including at the appropriate office where that deed would be registered and see what can be learned by a search of the paper trail.

    3. Maybe bring a small claims case if you can develop enough facts to support a case. Hopefully you have something that looks like paperwork and can lay out a time line exactly by date all the events as they have occured. Maybe even force them to sell a lot similar if that particular is now owned by someone else, if that really is your druthers. You got to know who as a legal entity to be suing, tho and maybe why they owe you something. :p

    4. Depending on what facts you can develop, might even be able to press a criminal case against them. One way to get your desires cheap. Ask for the settlement as part of either a plea deal or sentencing deal.

    Your situation almost starts to sound like that Time Share crap. In essense you never own anything. Nothing is ever registered in your name in terms of normal Buying / Selling of real estate at the Registry of Deeds. You haven't bought anything until your name appears as the current owner, maybe with somebody else listed as the mortgage holder.
  14. crashy

    crashy chickaholic goddess

    Dec 9, 2004
    Have a real estate lawyer look at it. Or even a good realtor may be able to help.If possible talk to the Procesuting attorney office they maybe able to point you to some one who can help. Sorry about your delema (?) hope all works out
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Sounds to me as if you got a couple thousand dollars worth of education for a hundred bucks. Cut you losses immediately! Spend no more money on this scam. Gift the downpayment receipt to some charity and let it go.
  16. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003