If you are buying a piece of real estate, it is vital to be clear about the property’s ownership. Yet there are cases where things are unclear. A quiet title action is a means of clearing up any uncertainty with a minimum of fuss.
Here are some reasons that there may be confusion over a property title:
- A boundary dispute: When you or your neighbor decide to replace the fence, you may be unsure where the exact line lies or whose responsibility it is.
- Someone claims they own the property: Long-lost family members may appear, claiming the house was left to them when their grandma died. Or someone may have a fraudulent copy of the title with their name on it.
- The owner dies mid-sale: You may have completed almost all the paperwork on a real estate purchase when the owner passes away. You need to revise the property status, as there may be a will that still lists the property among the things to be left to the beneficiaries.
- A lien on the property: If a previous owner did not pay their debts, a creditor might have secured a lien. Even if they cleared the debt, the records might not have been updated.
Quiet title actions are especially common when you have bought the property in a less traditional manner. Real estate that was auctioned off or foreclosed on may have an uncertain past. It pays to ensure everything is in order before parting with a large sum of money. Without this clarity, you are unlikely to get a mortgage to fund your purchase. If you are paying in cash, the quiet title action ensures you do not throw money away.