Whether you’re interested in purchasing a property or obtaining insurance for your existing property, having a clean title is necessary. When you encounter issues with your title, you may need to file a quiet title action, and a quiet title attorney can guide you through the process while providing quality representation.
What is a quiet title action?
A quiet title action allows you to claim ownership over a property over someone else who also has a claim to that same property, thus allowing you to clarify ownership.
A title is “clouded” when there are claims on it that could get in the way of real estate transactions and new buyers obtaining insurance. Common issues that could result in a clouded title include the following:
- Clerical or filing errors
- Fraudulent deeds
The result of a quiet title action is a clear title.
Quiet title actions are filed in court. As the petitioner, you are the plaintiff, while the defendant is the party that may also have a claim to the property. During your court appearance, the judge will determine whether you’re entitled to receive the quiet title.
Conduct a Title Search
A title search is a formal examination of public records to definitively determine the legal ownership of a particular property. They are conducted for several reasons, often by title companies and before real estate transactions, as a clean title is required to transfer ownership of a property.
Once a title search is conducted, you’ll have a better understanding of any and all issues that relate to the title of your property. Depending on the outcome of the search, you’ll then determine the entities you need to file a quiet title action against.
Draft a Petition and File It With the Court
Commencing a lawsuit, like a quiet title action, requires that you draft a petition to the court, in which you’ll detail the issue and the remedy you seek, which in your particular case is a quiet title. You’ll then need to ensure your petition is properly filed with the court. Once it is, the lawsuit process formally begins.
Serve the Opposing Party
Once you file your petition with the court, you’ll need to notify any interested parties of the impending lawsuit through the service of process.
Service is often affected by personal delivery via a process server, but depending on the difficulty of serving the other party, New York law also allows for substituted service with another party.
Nevertheless, all parties must be served to allow them to respond to your petition. For old title defects, no one may respond.
Attend Your Court Date and Obtain a Final Judgment
If defendants contest your action, you’ll receive a court date to attend a hearing at which you’ll get a final judgment regarding your title. You’ll also have the opportunity to present evidence to the judge in favor of quieting the title. The judge will hear from other interested parties as well.
If the judge grants your request, your title is cleared of any defects. Thus, there will be no further claims against your property. Similarly, should your claim go uncontested, the judge will likely rule in your favor, resulting in a clear title.
A Quiet Title Action Attorney Can Assist You
If you find yourself facing issues with your title, hiring a quiet title action attorney is the best step to take. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you understand the problems with your title and how to correct them. If filing a quiet title action is necessary, they can take the steps to file your claim and represent you in court.
The legal team at Levy Goldenberg is highly experienced in real estate litigation. We have the skills and resources to help you obtain your quiet title. Contact our New York firm today to schedule a consultation.