|Adverse possession, allows someone to file a claim of ownership on a property, and attempt to gain permanent ownership after possessing it for seven years, including paying taxes and caring for the property. It was created hundreds of years ago when hand-scrawled property records could more easily be lost, damaged or muddled. Allowing for adverse possession kept land in productive use when ownership was unclear, or, for example, the owner died with no heirs. In more recent times, it's been used in small property line disputes. Today, property records are tangled in the massive market meltdown, where mortgage notes were sold and resold, bundled into securities, scanned into computers, divided among several investors and just plain lost.|
Editor's Comment: This is a good read.