Title records prove that you own a property and also help protect financial institutions and contractors. The company that lends you money for the purchase of your home can count on repayment because the mortgage is a lien against the property’s title.
Contractors that do work on your home don’t have to demand all of the money up front because they can place a mechanic’s lien against the property to ensure that they get paid. Those living in and paying on houses also have protection because the state has a record of their ownership. Unfortunately, issues with title can cause headaches for those hoping to sell their property.
Old liens and other blemishes on your title may even be problematic for refinancing reasons or estate planning purposes. Did you know that you can possibly take care of those issues with a civil court filing?
Quiet title actions help you clear old marks from official records
The recorded deed for your property could have multiple liens against it. You could have several mortgages, or a contractor or creditor could have asked the courts for a lien to force you to pay off an unassociated debt, like a hospital bill. When you pay off your mortgage or finish repaying the contractor who replaced your roof, they have an obligation to remove the lien from your title.
Most companies handle this process quickly and without any prompting from the homeowner. Unfortunately, some companies, whether out of incompetence or maliciousness, fail to remove liens after receiving repayment. Other times, a business might fail and sell their debt, meaning that although you repay it, removing it isn’t as easy as you might hope. It’s even possible that a family member of a previous owner seems to have an ownership claim because of a blemish, and you can’t reach them.
When the other party can’t or won’t willingly release the lien placed on your title or their claim to the property, you may have no choice but to file a quiet title action.
How quiet title action works
In a quiet title proceeding, you present the courts with evidence of having fulfilled the obligations necessary to release the lien or show that the other party does not have a valid claim to the property. The judge can then order the blemish removed from your title, allowing you to sell or refinance the property. Such real estate litigation requires extensive documentation and research, but can ultimately help you as a homeowner with inaccurate problems on their title.