What is a Quiet Title Action?

If you’re new to real estate you may have never even heard of a “Quiet Title Action.” Even if you’ve been in the business for a long time, maybe you’ve never actually dealt with this. Regardless of your experience, it’s important to know what a Quiet Title Action is and what it could mean for you.

In a way, the term is self-explanatory. The action is an attempt to quiet a dispute with a title. One or more parties can request this process for reasons such as a boundary dispute, or ownership dispute, or simply to clarify ownership of a property during a sale or after the death of the owner.

In Florida, a party must file a lawsuit in Circuit Court pursuant to Chapter 65 of the Florida Statutes for a Quiet Title Action. The filing party could be someone disputing a title or it could be the current owner attempting to gain clarity on their own property.

If the owner files the lawsuit, it would be to protect against any future claims against their property or to protect a potential buyer from disputes. If another party files the lawsuit, it could be a neighbor claiming the title misidentifies the boundaries, a financial institution claiming rights to a property due to unpaid debts, or even a former spouse filing a dispute following a divorce. In those cases, a specific claim is being made that there is an error on the title that needs correction in the courts.

Mortgage lenders are one of the most common parties with interest in a quiet title action because an unsatisfied mortgage can lead to a title dispute. Sometimes, mortgage loans are fully paid off but the lender or borrower fails to properly close the mortgage leading to ongoing disputes. In those cases, a quiet title action should quickly resolve the issue. Situations where a mortgage hasn’t been fully satisfied can be more complicated. These cases can take longer as a resolution to the unpaid portion of the mortgage will be necessary if the owner wants to retain ownership or sell the property to a third party.

Regardless of who is filing and who is defending the title, the courts will ultimately rule on the title to quiet these disputes. This ruling will involve full research of claims against the title, confirmation that all mortgages and liens are satisfied, and official notification to public property records where the action is filed.

The quiet title process can cost you hundreds in court fees and ultimately could cost you thousands if your claim fails. It’s important to have the right attorney by your side. At the Law Offices of Ray Garcia, we know Florida real estate law. Contact our offices to protect your property today.