If you are buying a home, chances are you do a lot of research into the homes you look at. You likely have at least one inspection, take multiple tours, talk to neighbors and research everything from taxes to school ratings. One thing you might not think about is whether ownership of the property is in question.
There is the potential that multiple parties could have interest in a single property. This can happen as a result of invalid transactions, foreclosure, divorce, easements and surveying errors, for instance. In order to ensure you won't have to face legal disputes and claims against your property from other owners after you buy, you can file a quiet title action.
What does quiet title mean?
A quiet title action is the legal process through which a party secures ownership of a property by "quieting" other claims. It removes ownership interests of other parties so that the title can be free from defects.
What does the process look like?
Broadly speaking, a quiet title action is a lawsuit that a plaintiff (often the property owners) will file to request that a judge determine ownership of the property. The lawsuit will name other potential parties who may have interest in the property, and these parties will be notified of the complaint. If the judge rules in favor of the plaintiff, all other claims to a title are quieted and it cannot be challenged.
The important of working with an attorney
Again, a quiet title action is a legal proceeding. As such, it requires familiarity with state laws and an understanding of real estate transactions and the legal system. If you wish to file a quiet title action, or if you have any questions about defective titles, then consulting an attorney can be crucial.