Real Estate Law Explained: The Quiet Title

When looking into a real estate purchase, whether for investment or as a home, one of the most important things to do is make sure that the title is clear. If there are any problems with the history of the title or there is a dispute over ownership, these should be addressed before signing any contracts. One of the best ways to deal with these issues is with a quiet title action. 

What Is a Quiet Title Action?

A quiet title action is a legal process that can be taken to address issues with real estate titles. Specifically, the legal process can be used to: 

  • Fix a Title Issue – If there are problems with a title, such as incorrect property lines, this action can be used to find a legal remedy. 
  • Resolve an Ownership Dispute – If there is any type of dispute regarding who currently owns the title, this legal action will be used to resolve it. The courts will look at the title history, and the arguments of all parties, before issuing a binding ruling. 

Eliminating Title Problems

When everything is handled properly, the title history for a particular piece of real estate will offer an unbroken line of information. This can be used to identify exactly where the property is located, who owns it, whether there are any liens on the property, and much more. Unfortunately, real estate laws and processes aren’t always handled correctly.

In many situations, for example, the ownership of a piece of real estate will change hands informally. This could happen if a husband leaves property to a wife, or a neighbor buys property in a cash deal from a friend. While these actions will be handled legally, the title may not be properly updated. It could be years, or even decades, before anyone discovers that there were any problems. When you (or any potential buyer of real estate) runs a title check, these types of issues come to light. 

Filing the Quiet Title Action Lawsuit

A quiet title action is a lawsuit, though many people don’t refer to it this way. This is because unlike many lawsuits, the problems that this type attempts to resolve often don’t involve any conflict. The action is simply taken to eliminate any confusion or other problems related to the title. Even when there is a dispute over ownership, it may not be two contentious parties, but a simple matter of inaccurate legal documentation. 

Is a Quiet Title Action Necessary?

If you are thinking about buying any type of real estate, you will absolutely want to make sure that a detailed title search is completed on your behalf. This will reveal any potential problems or disputes that could cause issues in the future. If something is discovered, a quiet title action is typically the ideal way to get it resolved. Once this action is completed, the title will be clean and not subject to dispute going forward. If you know you need a quiet title action, or you would like to have a situation reviewed by an attorney, please contact us to discuss your situation today.

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