Q: If you pay someone and then find out they don't actually own the property? What can be done?
A: Did you receive a Deed? No cause of action if a Quit Claim Deed. If a Warranty Deed, then demand or sue the seller for him to get title. When he does it immediately inures to your benefit because of After Acquired Title/ Estoppel By Deed under one of the four covenants of title. If no Deed then you might sue for breach of a written contract. If no writing, you can sue but will probably lose because of the Statute of Frauds. Hire a competent AL attorney now, possibly one that lists on Justia.
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