What is a Quiet Title Action

A quiet title action is a circuit court action, or lawsuit, intended to establish or settle the title to a property, especially when there is a disagreement on the title. It is a lawsuit brought to remove a claim or objection on a title.

BREAKING DOWN Quiet Title Action

A quiet title action occurs when one property claimant challenges one or more other people in a court of law for the purpose of determining who is the rightful legal owner of the property in question. It is intended to quiet the conflicting claims on the property, eliminating any ambiguities in the title and making it clear. Following the quiet title action, the plaintiff will be in full possession of the property in perpetuity, as will be his or her heirs, and will be free of any claims of ownership made against the property by others.

When Quiet Title Action Can Be Useful

A quiet title action might be used to clear up claims on the ownership of real property, or other property that is titled, following the death of the owner, if there is any question regarding whether all of the heirs have been notified of the sale of the estate. It can be used to resolve issues with a mortgage lender whose interest in the property was not properly dealt with after the loan was paid off. It can also be used to clear the title to a property that has been unoccupied for some time.

Other grounds for a quiet title action include the conveyance of interest in the property via a quitclaim deed in which the previous owner disclaims interest, but does not promise that the title is clear. Additionally, quiet title actions could be used to convey title to a property in the case of adverse possession. It can be used to settle tax issues with a property; boundary disputes between private parties, nations, states or municipalities; errors in surveying; fraudulent conveyance of a property by coercion or forged deed; treaty disputes between nations; or competing claims by lien holders, reverters, missing heirs or remainders.

Limitations of Quiet Title Action

A quiet title action does not give the new owner the same level of protection against the previous owner in most cases; if there are problems with the property, the new owner can’t sue the previous owner, unless he or she acquired the property via warranty deed and sued for defects when the warranty deed was delivered.

Additionally, quiet title actions don’t always clear up all issues with a title. In some jurisdictions, they can only be used to clear up specific claims or title defects.