What is a Quiet Title Action?
A real estate quiet title action is a lawsuit asking the court to declare you the owner of a certain piece of real estate and to quiet (or eliminate) any potential interest in the property held by another person or company. Some examples of when a quiet title action may be necessary include:
- The property was purchased at a tax auction and you are unable to obtain title insurance for the property.
- There is a break in the chain of title causing unclear ownership or creating a possible claim to ownership by another party.
- There is a lien on the property for a loan that was fully paid off but was never released. The lender is now out of business or unreachable.
- A property has been utilized under a mistaken belief of ownership for many years and the person using the property would like to be declared the legal owner of the same.
- There is a dispute over the ownership of a property or part of a property.
QUIET TITLE ACTION?
What is the Process and Timeline for a Quiet Title Action?
The basic steps for a quiet title action are as follows:
- A title search is conducted to determine any possible claims of ownership or liens that were filed against the property.
- The documentation is filed with the court to begin the case and the court issues a case number.
- Notice of the litigation is delivered to any party with an interest in the property, or if the party can not be found notice is published in the newspaper
- The parties named in the action then have a certain amount of time to respond (between 21-45 days depending on the where the person is served or if notice was published in the newspaper).
- If no response is received, the court enters an order declaring the plaintiff the owner of the property and eliminating the interests of the other parties. If a response is received, the matter may be set for trial depending on the nature of the response that is filed.
- The entire process generally takes between 60-90 days from start to finish, but there are variables that may affect this timeline, including the ease of serving the defendants and the court’s calendar.