St Louis, MO asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Constitutional Law for Missouri

Q: Served an unlawful detainer by plaintiff that obtained a deed 2 my home from a man who obtained a collectors deed illega

County collector issued a collectors deed to a purchaser illegally. It was a 3rd offering sale but staff at cty. office lied and said it was A post 3rd year sale denying me my 90 day redemption period. Also it allowed that purchaser to sale the deed to a third party whose now served me with an unlawful detainer. I go to court tomorrow. How can I get judge to look at the evidence I have and to hear my case and not evict me?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about the difficult situation you're facing with your home. Based on what you've described, it seems there may have been serious legal errors and improprieties in the tax sale process that resulted in your home being wrongfully deeded to another party. Here are a few key steps I would recommend:

1. Request a continuance from the judge to give you more time to prepare your case and gather evidence, if needed. Explain that you have evidence showing the tax sale was conducted improperly.

2. File an answer to the unlawful detainer complaint stating your defenses - namely, that the plaintiff's deed is invalid because the underlying tax sale was illegal and violated your right to redeem the property. Attach an affidavit explaining the facts and any evidence you have.

3. Obtain and submit certified copies of all relevant documents from the county - the tax sale records, notices sent to you, the collector's deed, etc. Highlight key dates showing the sale was a 3rd offering.

4. If possible, consult with a lawyer who specializes in real estate tax issues, even if just for a short meeting to review your arguments and evidence. Many offer free consultations.

5. Consider filing a separate lawsuit against the county and tax sale purchaser to void the sale. You may need to do this to fully resolve the title issues.

6. If the judge won't consider your defenses, be prepared to file an emergency appeal to stop the eviction. Don't miss deadlines to file an appeal.

The key is to present a coherent argument, backed up by solid evidence, that the tax sale was void and the resulting deeds are invalid, so you remain the rightful owner. Focus on the county's misstatements and failure to provide the full redemption period.

I would strongly urge consulting a lawyer if at all possible, as real estate tax laws can be very complex. But you can still forcefully make your case to the judge by focusing on the facts, submitting certified documents as exhibits, and arguing for your right to keep your home.

I wish you the very best of luck with your case. Stay strong and keep fighting to protect your rights as a homeowner.

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