Perhaps you have finally found the perfect home to buy, but is the title on the property free and clear?
If there is some ownership ambiguity, your attorney may need to file a quiet title action with the court so you can obtain title insurance and a mortgage.
Determining legal ownership
A quiet title action is a legal process for the purpose of determining rightful ownership of a property. This kind of proceeding may be necessary to enable you to become the legal owner. Without a clear title to the house you wish to buy, you cannot obtain title insurance or a mortgage.
Clearing up claims
There are various reasons for a potential buyer to clear up ambiguity on a title or to mend gaps in the chain of title:
- In an unoccupied house, to settle any possible claims of heirs, lien holders or unknown lessees
- To avoid possible future challenges from heirs to whom the previous owner willed the property
- To settle boundary or survey inaccuracies
- To ensure clear title for a property conveyed through a quitclaim deed
- To ensure clear title in the event records are missing from a mortgage or tax debt that is reportedly paid off
- To clear the title if deed fraud is part of the property’s conveyance history
Purchasing your dream home
Keep in mind that a clear title action may only be available with reference to a particular claim. The process may not clear multiple claims or breaks in the chain of title. However, once you clear title, you can proceed with the purchase of your dream home. You can rest assured that you are the legal owner and that no one else can make a claim on your property.