Q: I rented a house from a person who turned out not to be the owner of the home. I contacted the authorities and the scammer disappeared. We were told by the police to try to find the true owner of the home. We even hired a private investigator but had no luck.
Now the home is being sold at auction due to delinquent taxes owed. Is there any way I can gain title to the home without being able to locate the owner? I can then pay the delinquent back taxes before the auction.
A: So, here’s a question for you: Now that you know that the person who claimed to be your landlord is a fraud, who are you paying rent to?
During the last Great Recession, some owners who had rented their homes to tenants abandoned their properties to allow the lender to foreclose on the homes. The tenants were left in limbo. They paid no rent and eventually were evicted when the homes were taken over by the lender.