FYI Alabama Tax Sale Investors: Almost lost ejectment lawsuit!

10 Replies

In short.....

Bought a tax certificate on an apartment complex in March. 

Unit B has squatter. Served squatter with notice to vacate in March.

Sold it to my homeboy in May.

Went with him to the courthouse in October to file an ejectment suit.

Squatter was served & never responded.

Went to court with my homeboy on Thursday of this week for Judge Ballard to enter default judgement. He has no lawyer and filed pro se (bad idea if you have zero legal knowledge).

Judge Ballard ALMOST dismissed the case y'all! He started with that line that everyone says "Well you only have the certificate and from my understanding you have to wait 3 yrs till  you get the deed....blah blah blah blah."  

Because I was the original tax certificate purchaser the judge did let me approach the bench and speak because my homie was just standing there like a deer in the headlights with the sad face on! I told the judge to please refer to the code of Alabama 40-10-74 that states that certificate holders are entitled to immediate possession.  

He looked at me and took a long pause, got up, went to his chambers, came back with the book, sat down and read for a good 10 mins, then started asking me questions about are there other lienholders (that ain't got NOTHING to do with this squatter but I did answer them).  

In the end he did sign off on the default judgement!  Judge Ballard did admit that he didn't know about 40-10-74 because he does not get these types of cases (involving tax certificates holders) often.  He was very nice to us though.   


Special shout out to @Denise Evans .  Without her we would have been S.O.L.

@Anastasia Jordan :   GREAT GOING, GIRL!!!!  I am so very proud of you and excited for you.  Good for the judge, too, to admit he did not know this area of the law and be willing to look up the code section.  Note to everyone:  ALWAYS assume this same problem will come up, and have with you, when you go to court, a copy of 40-10-74.  In fact, better yet, in your complaint always say certificate holders are entitled to immediate possession AND that you have the required notice and it has been more than 6 months since that notice. Bring with you a copy of the notice, in case the judge wants to see it.

@Anastasia Jordan great going to know the laws and get this done! I have a question about this. It is my impression that you must serve the owner of the property in order to take possession. Is this scenario different since the “tenant” was not paying rent or legally living there? Did you also have to serve the property owner as well to take legal possession?

Originally posted by @Jamie O'Brien :

Anastasia Jordan great going to know the laws and get this done! I have a question about this. It is my impression that you must serve the owner of the property in order to take possession. Is this scenario different since the “tenant” was not paying rent or legally living there? Did you also have to serve the property owner as well to take legal possession?

 The property was abandoned. You can take possession of abandoned properties long as there is no breach of peace. If there was an owner in place I would have served the owner.  This squatter was served notice to vacate.  

And as to who the "owner" is, that is another lawsuit I'm dealing with now (another Birmingham Income Properties scam).

Excellent job @Anastasia Jordan and @Denise Evans I truly aspire to be as great of an investor as you two ladies! I purchased two certificates and served notices to vacate nearly 6 months ago. I plan on suing both owners for ejectment as each property is occupied (one by a renter the second by the owner).

I will be sure to bring along a copy of the notice and code 40-10-74; however, I will not have a lawyer. One of the properties I obtained is owned by a personal liability lawyer so I am requesting advice. 

Please let me know what to expect as far as the process and incurred fees/charges etc.

Thanks a bunch!!!

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