Real estate is often the largest investment for business owners and homeowners alike. Understandably, it is vitally important to protect that investment, whether it is the headquarters of your company or the home where your family sleeps at night. So, when questions arise as to the ownership of your property, it is essential that you resolve these matters without delay, or else risk losing your investment and all that it has come to represent.
What is a Quiet Title Action?
Quiet title actions are legal proceedings that can confirm or seek to otherwise clarify the proper ownership of a piece of property. Similarly, if there is an error in the title or its filing, the appropriate quiet title can fix this defect before the title is further compromised.
Why Would a Property Owner File a Quiet Title Suit?
There are numerous reasons why someone may seek to pursue a quiet title suit to address issues relating to real estate property, including:
- Adverse possession: This quiet title action grants ownership to the occupant of a piece of land or real estate, even if they are not the legal, lawful owner of that property. After a certain period of time, adverse possession can grant them a title and proper ownership.
- After death: Occasionally after the death of a property owner, there can be questions as to who is now the rightful owner of the real estate they left behind. This can be a problem when there was no will or estate planning in place before death. Quiet title actions can help resolve matters of ownership in the event of the original owner’s passing.
- Mortgage lenders: Quiet title actions can help fix issues with mortgage lenders whose interest in the property remains unresolved even after the mortgage has been paid off.
- Ownership disputes: Actual ownership disputes may arise as to who rightly owns a piece of property in the state of Georgia. Sometimes it is not a debate between two parties, but many. A quiet title lawsuit can help resolve matters and determine proper ownership rights.
- Quitclaim deed: If the previous owner of property disclaims interest in that real estate, quitclaims are for legal transfers of land or real property.
- Technical title defects: In cases where there is no real dispute over ownership, there can still be issues if there is a hole discovered in the integrity of a real property title. If an error or defect is found in a title, it may prove difficult or even impossible to sell or refinance that piece of property. Quiet title actions could help fix these errors.
- Unoccupied property: If a piece of real property has been left unoccupied for some time and there is a question as to who or what has ownership rights, a quiet title action could resolve the matter so that the property can be bought, sold, or even demolished.
How Long Do Quiet Title Cases Take to Be Resolved?
Every case is unique and no one timeframe of resolution should be considered a one-size-fits-all answer. However, most quiet title cases tend to be resolved in two to four months.
To improve one’s chances of a smoother, faster process, it is advisable to seek the legal representation of a lawyer with experience handling cases of real property disputes.