Real estate properties are often marred by title defects. A title defect is any issue with a property’s title that could negatively impact the owner’s ability to sell or borrow against the property. Thankfully, a quiet title action can help solve many title defects and clear the way for a smooth transaction.
What is a quiet title action?
A quiet title action is a legal proceeding that people use to eliminate any clouds on a property’s title. Some of the most common reasons people pursue a quiet title action are:
- To clear up any confusion about who owns the property
- To resolve disputes over the property’s ownership
- To get rid of any mortgages or other liens on the property
- To sell the property free and clear of any clouds on its title
In commercial and residential real estate cases, the main goal of a quiet title action is to give the person who pursues it “clear title” to the property. This means that there are no longer any outstanding claims or encumbrances on the property.
How does a quiet title action work?
A quiet title action is typically started by filing a lawsuit in state court. The person who wants to clear the property’s title (the “plaintiff”) may ask the court to order everyone with an interest in the property to come forward and take part in the legal proceeding. This can include the current owner of the property, any previous owners, anyone who has a mortgage or other lien on the property, and so on.
Once all of the interested parties have been identified, each party may have an opportunity to present their case to the court. Once all of the evidence has been presented, the court may issue a ruling. If the plaintiff is successful, they may receive a “clear title” to the property.
A quiet title action can be a complicated legal proceeding. If you’re thinking about pursuing a quiet title action, it’s important to understand the process as well as all of the potential risks and rewards involved.