If I purchased a home and put it in a trusted individual’s name as caretaker while I travel for work but they are in debt, is there a way to get my property back?

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If I purchased a home and put it in a trusted individual’s name as caretaker while I travel for work but they are in debt, is there a way to get my property back?

I purchased a home for 22k. This person is indebted to the state for fines incurred 15 years ago. Can I place a secondary lein on it that would supersede what the state is trying to recoup?

Asked on April 25, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If the state's lien has already been placed on the home, you cannot supersede the state's lien: liens are paid (have "priority") in the order in which they are filed, so a later lien cannot supersede an earlier one. 
Moreover, you cannot simply "place a lien" on property: you have to have sued the person who owns the property (this individual) for some reason, win in court, and get a judgment in your favor--only after you have a judgement, can you potentially place a lien on the property to recover what they owe you. But this person does not owe you anything, based on what you write: you don't mention, for example, any loan you made to them which they never repaid. So if you do not have a basis to sue them, there is not way to place a lien on the property.
You gave them your house--there is no other way to say it. When you put a house in someone else's name, you make them the owner. Having given your house to another person, you do not appear to have any rights to it. Do not ever do something like this again.
 


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