Goodyear, AZ asked in Real Estate Law, Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Arizona

Q: What extenuating circumstances are there to push the statute of limitations on conversion of property?

My mother has clinical depression and was advised to not sign any documents. My mother and father were never married and were separated. My mother living in the home alone fell victim to fraud on “refinancing” but lost her home, about 2007. We (my mother and 5 children living in the home) were able to return after a year, but my mother did not remember this important information due to her disability. My father lied to my mother about getting the house back and instead took ownership of the house for himself by forging my mother’s signature in about 2008. We believe he forged her signature to do this and is now renting out the home and receiving payments. My mother wants to know if there’s still a way to get the house back given her disability in the first place and coming across this information on my father not too long ago.

1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: The argument would be that the deception (injury) was not discovered until more recently. This is called "tolling" of the statute of limitations because the injured party is unaware of the injury.

The problem will be finding legal representation to assist you with a complicated title dispute. If your mother cannot afford to pay a retainer, she is going to be vying with the masses for extremely limited free legal services provided through legal aid.

If the property has a very high value / amount of equity, it may be possible to find an attorney who would consider the case on a contingency fee basis (attorney fees would be taken as a percentage of recovery). I expect this would also be a substantial challenge.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

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