Carrington Mortgage Services v. Woods – 6/22/2017

July 10, 2017

The Arizona Court of Appeals Division One holds that an action for forcible entry and detainer accrues when a written demand of possession is served.

Property owners executed a promissory note secured by a deed of trust on their property.  A bank subsequently acquired the property through a trustee’s sale and the trustee’s deed was recorded.  On behalf of the bank, a mortgage company then conveyed the property to itself, served the property owner with a “Notice to Vacate,” and sued the property owner for forcible detainer after a trustee’s sale.

The property owner asserted that the forcible detainer action was time barred and that the mortgage company did not have a superior right of possession to the property.  The Court of Appeals rejected both arguments.  First, the Court held that an action for forcible detainer must be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues under A.R.S. § 12-542(6), and that a cause of action for forcible detainer accrues when a demand for possession is served.

The Court then concluded that the mortgage company did present sufficient evidence of its superior right to possession at trial.

Judge Norris delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Judges Johnsen and Campbell joined.