What to do to dispute land ownership?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What to do to dispute land ownership?

I signed my property over to my sister, who was to get a loan and pay me. It’s

been 2 years at least and now she wants me off the property. Can I get it back

from her?

Asked on July 20, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you gave her an actual private mortgage (basically, "loaned" her the purchase price) and kept a written right to foreclose, which you filed with the county clerk, if she failed to pay the loan/purchase by a set or defined time, then you could foreclose on the land the way a bank could foreclose when a mortage is not paid and get it back.
But if you did not set this up like a mortgage while retaining in writing the right to foreclose if not paid, you can't get the land back: if you simply signed it over to her, it is her property now, not yours. She owns it free and clear, and can legally remove you from it, since she is the owner and you are not.
Even if you cannot foreclose on the land and get it back, if there was a written agreement that she'd pay you a certain amount by a certain time (i.e. an agreement of sale, but no private mortgage) you could at least sue her for the money she owes you.

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