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Under what circumstances would a quiet title action be necessary?

Perhaps you are looking forward to purchasing your dream home. However, in order to obtain a mortgage, you must have a title insurance policy.

The title company will not issue such a policy if there is doubt about the ownership of the property. Under what circumstances would a quiet title action be the appropriate next step?

About quiet title

To resolve ambiguity over the title to a property or to ensure there are no conflicting claims, you, as the prospective buyer, may wish to initiate a quiet title action. This is a legal process designed to determine legal ownership of a property. Others, such as the mortgage lender or the current property owner, might also file a quiet title complaint.

Possible issues

There are several situations that might require a quiet title action to clear up existing issues:

– inaccurate survey results or a boundary dispute

– the property owner dies before completing the conveyance of the property

– to  resolve possible claims, identify lien holders or heirs of an unoccupied house

– ensure the title is clear under a quitclaim deed rather than a warranty deed

– records are missing after payment of a mortgage or tax debt

– for properties bought through foreclosure, sheriffs’ sales, tax or estate sales

Considerations

Keep in mind that a quiet title action may only address a single instance of a cloud on the title. It might not address multiple issues that present legal challenges. Professional guidance can help you over the hurdles and ensure that you have a clear title and become the legal owner of the dream home you wish to purchase.