Taking possession of a house subject to a pending Quiet Title Action

Hi -

I bought a house at a trustee auction that is the subject of a quiet title lawsuit. The defaulting borrower is suing his lender and filed and recorded a lis pendens notice in advance of the auction.

Can I still take possession of the house after recording my trustee deed?
Or should I expect have to wait for resolution of the quiet title manner to take possession?


Who is in possession now? If it’s the holdover owner, it is almost certain that when you file the UD, he/she will ask that the cases be consolidated. (UD/Quiet Title). You may be able to get an order that he pay some costs while litigation is pending.
OTH, maybe the owners have given up and you can make a cash for keys deal. They didn’t get a Restraining order against the lender to prevent the sale from taking place.

If you file an eviction proceeding against the owner occupant of the property, they may combine the eviction with the court case (as stated above). This means that you have to wait for the original court case to be completed before they can proceed with the eviction. However, you need to prove monthly costs and the owners have to pay you rent on the property since you are the legal owner.

MikeT and GJ - thank you for the thoughtful responses.

The defaulted borrower is technically still in possession, though it seems that the house is abandoned (no lights on, no coming and going, etc.) There is no evidence of any tenant (the house is in San Francisco).

The borrower (before suing the lender) filed bankruptcy twice and in at least one filing listed the debt for which the trustee sale was held. It seems like that signals an acknowledgement of the legality of the debt, but I have yet to receive a copy of the Quiet Title complaint.

My plan is as follows:

  1. Do nothing until I receive and record my Trustee Deed.
  2. After recording, reach out to the borrower for an amicable $ for keys approach.
  3. Post and mail a notice of belief of abandonment
  4. Failing 2/3, pursue an Unlawful Detainer action.

From what you two have said, assuming the borrower seeks a litigious path combining the UD and Quiet Title cases, I will have to ride out the Quiet Title case.

I would hope that if there is an order from a judge that while the case is pending the borrower pay me reasonable rent, and then fails to do so (he’s a deadbeat after all), I could then get him evicted for just cause (failure to pay rent). Am I correct in my thinking?

Thank you again for contributing your expertise. More comments welcome.

You are an idiot for buying a house that you know to be in litigation. ?Especially one that a lis pendens shows that the owner is suing for quiet title. ?You will NOT get good title to the property IMHO. ??E.g.,?1st Atlantic Guaranty Corp. v. Tillerson, 916 A.2d 153, 157 (D.C. 2007); see also?Morrison v. Shuster, 1 Mackey 190, 200, 1881 U.S.App.Lexis 2702 (1881).