Quiet Title Actions for Florida Real Estate
When you are searching for the perfect piece of property to call home, begin a business, or utilize the property as aninvestment, a top priority is whether you can obtain clear title to the property. Most real estate transactions close without any major issues because your Daytona real estate lawyer assisted you with drafting the purchase agreement, conducted a title search, and reviewed the closing documents in advance of the closing.
However, some problems cannotbe resolved with a few telephone calls or adjustments to the contract. When the title to real estate has a “cloud” or “defect,” the property owner cannot convey title with a General Warranty Deed. A General Warranty Deed is the preferred method of transferring property because the owner is “warranting” that:
• The seller is the current owner of the property;
• He has the absolute right to transfer the property to the buyer;
• There are no undisclosed encumbrances, mortgages, or other liens attached to the property;
• The property is free and clear of any title defects or other issues that would interfere with the buyer owning, possessing, and using the property; and,
• The seller agrees to defend and hold harmless the buyer against any claims or damages caused by a title defect or claim asserted by another party.
However, if there is a title defect or cloud in the chain of title, the seller cannot convey clear title because he cannot offer these warranties. The seller might be able to provide a Special Warranty Deed, but this type of deed only provides the above warranties for the time the seller owned the property.
When you are investing money in real estate, you want to ensure that you have clear title to the property. Anything less than clear title places your investment at a substantial risk.
How Do You Determine If the Title to Real Estate is Clear?
Our Daytona real estate attorneys search public records to determine if there are any issues or defects with the title to the property. We examine each deed in the chain of title, review surveys, search for liens, review easements, and review any other document that could pertain to the property. The purpose of a title search is to uncover any potential problems that prevent the buyer from receiving clear title to the property.
What is a Quiet Title Action?
If a title search reveals a potential problem, our Daytona real estate attorney researches the issue to determine whether the problem can be solved without litigation. In some cases, a problem with the title to the property may be corrected by filing a corrective deed or survey. In other cases, an old mortgage may be paid in full, but the bank never satisfied the mortgage of record. A few telephone calls to the mortgage company can usually resolve the issue.
However, some problems cannot be corrected without court intervention. A quiet title action is a lawsuit filed in circuit court to clear title to a piece of real estate. The purpose of a quiet title action is to place all interested parties on notice that the current owner is asserting his ownership of the property. Any parties who might claim an interest in the property must assert their interests now or lose the right to assert any claim to the property in the future.
Through a quiet title action, an owner can obtain a court order that terminates or “quiets” any claims of ownership of other individuals. In some cases, a court order is the only way to obtain clear title to a piece of real estate.
What Circumstances Might Require a Quiet Title Action?
There are many different reasons why you might need to file a quiet title action. Some of the common reasons or issues that might give rise to a quiet title action include:
• Missing heirs
• Fraudulent conveyance
• Tax Deeds
• Adverse possession
• Prescriptive easements
• Alternative to probate
• Boundary disputes
• Surveying errors
Hiring a Daytona real estate attorney is the first step in determining whether you hold clear title to your real property. If you are a buyer, you want to ensure that you retain the services of an experienced Florida real estate lawyer to conduct a comprehensive title examination to ensure the seller can transfer the property to you free and clear of any title defects or clouds on the title.
Daytona Real Estate Attorney for Quiet Title Actions
Quiet title actions can be complex and difficult, especially if the parties are contesting ownership of the property. When you bring a quiet title action, you must provide evidence to the court to prove why you are the rightful owner of the property. Preparing for a quiet title action is a meticulous process that requires substantial research and extensive knowledge of Florida real estate laws.