Question: In 1993, I purchased a 50 percent ownership interest in a rental home in Chandler. The other 50 percent was an Arizona corporation. Since the purchase of the home, I have been making all of the mortgage payments and have paid for all of the maintenance and repairs, including a new roof. Although the Arizona corporation was dissolved in 2002, the two owners of this Arizona corporation still live in the Phoenix area. I now want to sell this home in order to recover the money I have spent on this home since 1993. How do I acquire 100 percent title to this home?
Answer: You should initially ask the two owners, i.e., shareholders, of this Arizona corporation to deed the corporation’s 50 percent interest to you. Although you have said that this Arizona corporation was “dissolved” in 2002, I seriously doubt that there was a formal dissolution with Articles of Dissolution and other paperwork. Most Arizona corporations “dissolve” simply due to failure to file the annual report and pay the annual filing fee with he Arizona Corporation Commission. When a corporation is “dissolved” in that manner, the shareholders be come the owners of any assets of the corporation. Therefore, if the two owners of this defunct Arizona corporation will deed their 50 percent interest to you, you should be able to get title insurance so that you can sell a 50 percent interest in the home. If the two owners of this defunct Arizona corporation will not convey their 50 percent interest in the home to you, however, you will have to file a partition lawsuit to sell the home. A court will order a sale of the home. After this sale you should be entitled to most, if not all, of the sales proceeds because for 20 years you have been paying the mortgage payments, as well as paying for the maintenance and repairs.