Real estate disputes over title can involve many different issues. Often there will be competing claims regarding the title, so the owner may seek a quiet title action, which will “quiet” competing claims of real property ownership. This can be done by the landowner in question, even if no one has come forward to make a claim. The process involves a public notice given to anyone who potentially might have a claim. If no one steps forward, the court then quiets the title. Common examples include:
- There may be a forged deed that is either recent or could go back decades.
- Someone coerced the owner into turning over the deed.
- There was an ambiguous quitclaim deed where the grantor quits their rights to the property, but the wording may not be clear.
- Adverse possession where a neighbor or a squatter claims the land in question because they occupy it.
- There is a dispute between the mortgage lender and the property owner.
- The county put a lien on the property if the owner did not pay their taxes.
Courts have broad powers on this matter
It should be noted that the courts have broad discretion involving action to quiet title, but they are limited to hearing cases within six years of the lawsuit involving the property in question. They are also required to resolve disputes of competing claims for ownership if someone does step forward.
The action to quiet title often settles disputes once and for all, but there is a process to this legal action. Those with questions about ownership of real property may wish to speak with an attorney who practices real estate law. These legal professionals can protect the client’s rights by evaluating, investigating, filing, and resolving lawsuits over real estate title problems.