Whether you’re looking to build a house, start a business, or use some property as an investment, obtaining a clear title is essential. Many real estate transactions will close with few issues with the help of a professional real estate litigation attorney — like the team at Patriot Legal Group. Although, if research turns up some information on the property, a quiet title action may be needed.
A real estate attorney can help draft the purchase agreement, conduct a title search on the property, and review any closing documents before the official closing day.
If you’ve had some problems with a title for a property you’d like to purchase, you may need representation to help with the transaction. Our Central Florida attorneys will fight to ensure that your interests are protected. To learn how we can help, contact Patriot Legal Group today for a consultation.
How Can Defective Property Titles Lead to a Quiet Title Action?
Some real estate title problems cannot be resolved with a few contract adjustments or phone calls. If a real estate title has a defect or “cloud,” the property owner can’t convey the title with a General Warranty Deed, which is the preferred method of transferring property.
A General Warranty Deed establishes that:
- The property owner is the current owner of the property
- The seller has the absolute right to transfer the piece of property to the buyer
- The property has no unnamed encumbrances, mortgages, or liens attached
- The property is free of title defects or any other issues that would interfere with the buyer’s use of the property
- The seller agrees to hold the buyer harmless against any damages caused by a claim asserted by a third party
If there is a “cloud” in the chain of the title or other defect, then the seller cannot provide the warranties of a General Warranty Deed.
The seller may be able to provide a Special Warranty Deed, but this limits the warranties for the time that the seller owned the property. This can jeopardize your investment, as there may be a title defect farther back in the property’s history.
Determining If a Real Estate Title Is Clear
Your Central Florida real estate attorney searches the public records to find any issues with the title, examines each deed in the title’s chain, and searches for any documents pertaining to the property. Title searches may uncover potential problems that would hinder you, as the buyer, from receiving a clear title to your property.
What is quiet title action?
If the title search uncovers potential problems, then your Central Florida real estate lawyer researches the issue to determine whether the problem can be corrected without filing litigation.
Sometimes, the problem may be fixed by filing a corrective survey or deed. For example, an old mortgage may have been paid in full, but the lender never fulfilled the mortgage of record. Your lawyer may be able to correct this issue with a few phone calls.
Other times, however, problems can’t be corrected without court intervention.
A quiet title action is a lawsuit that clears the title of a piece of property. It places all interested parties on notice that the current owner is asserting their ownership of the property. Any parties that may have a claim to the property must take action at this point or lose their right to assert their interest in the property in the future.
By filing a quiet title action, a buyer may obtain a court order that terminates any ownership claims of other parties, effectively “quieting” the claims. This may be the only way that a buyer may obtain a clear title for the property.
When would I need a quiet title action?
There are a few different circumstances that would require a quiet title action. Common reasons that you may want to have an attorney file a quiet title action include:
- Potential missing heirs
- Fraudulent conveyance
- Complications with tax deeds
- Alternatives to probate
- Adverse possession
- Boundary disputes or survey errors
Retaining services from an experienced Central Florida real estate lawyer can help determine whether you can obtain a clear title to your property.
As a buyer, you should trust the expertise of a real estate lawyer to conduct a thorough title search and ensure that the seller can freely transfer the property to you without any clouds or defects. If you have a flawed title, it can significantly affect your ability to alter the property, such as building on it or selling it in the future.
Contact Our Experienced Central Florida Real Estate Lawyer for Quiet Title Actions
Quiet title actions are complex and difficult and become more so if another party contests ownership of the property. When you file a quiet title action, you and your attorney must provide evidence to the court proving why you are the rightful owner of the property.
The team at Patriot Legal Group has experience with Florida quiet title actions. We handle actions in all Central Florida counties including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Polk, Volusia, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, and many others. Call us today to learn more about your title options.