If you have an interest in a property but it is unclear who really holds the title to that property, you may have to consider filing a quiet title action. If there is confusion about who really holds the title, a title insurance company will not issue an insurance policy on the title, which means that you will not be able to sell the property, particularly if the purchaser wants to finance the purchase. Even if you just want to get a mortgage loan or refinance your existing mortgage on the property, a title insurance company will not issue a policy which means you won’t be able to borrow money using the property as collateral.
These are the most common situations when people may have to file quiet title actions:
- If a property conveyance is completed after an owner’s death
- If you purchase a property in an estate sale, foreclosure sale, tax sale or sheriff’s sale
- If there is a boundary dispute involving a neighboring property
- If there is a survey inaccuracy
- If there is an indication that a deed has been signed or recorded fraudulently
- If the house is occupied
These are only a few of the situations where a quiet title action may be required. There are other situations when a quiet title action may be required, which is something you can discuss with your attorney.
Quiet title actions are also used to resolve problems through the court system. For example, problems with liens, easements and loans may be able to be resolved through quiet title actions.
Keep in mind that there are situations where a single quiet title action may not be sufficient to clear up all clouds on a title. There may be multiple title issues that need to be resolved. In complex cases such as these, you will want to speak with your attorney about using a group of quiet title actions or other methods to help clear the title and prepare the property for sale. Our website has more on the steps you may need to take if you have a cloud on a title.