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Florida Quiet Title Actions

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When you purchase a property, you expect to own it in full and without anyone else making a claim on it. Unfortunately, many situations are complicated or less clear cut. You may obtain a property only to find out the chain of title is not clear and accurate. Or, you may purchase a property that had previous liens and encumbrances. All of these potential issues are known as “clouds” on the title, which you may be able to clear away through a quiet title action.

What Is a Quiet Title Action?

A quiet title action is a civil lawsuit that you bring in order to establish that you are the true and full owner of a property. You must provide notice of the lawsuit to any individual or business that may have a claim to the real property. This gives them a chance to make a formal claim in court, if they wish to. If no one else makes a claim, then the judge can issue a quiet title to you. If one or more parties do come forward and assert their interest, then the judge must decide who has an interest in the property before entering a judgment.

Judgments for quiet title should be recorded in the county where the land sits.

The Benefits of Obtaining Quiet Title

If the court awards you quiet title, then previous owners, lien holders, mortgage holders, and others are denied any claim to the property. All clouds on title are eliminated. You fully own the property without any claims against your ownership. This enables you to purchase a title insurance policy, which will protect your ownership rights in the future against any claims. It also enables you to sell the property at any time without issue.

When Quiet Title Actions Are Appropriate

Quiet title actions commonly arise after a tax deed sale. This type of sale occurs when you pay the back taxes owed on a property in order to obtain the deed. However, these properties often have other claims to them, either from previous owners or lien holders.

Another common reason for bringing a quiet title action is when the chain of title of a property was broken at some point in the past. When the chain of title is broken, it means ownership of the property during a certain time was not clear. This may occur after the owner of a property passes away. Broken chains of titles could result in deed errors or deeds executed outside of the chain, known as “wild” deeds.

Is Someone Else Making a Claim on Your Property?

If you recently purchased a property and some other individual or entity is making a claim against the property, either as an owner or for money owed, you should seek advice from an experienced Florida real estate attorney at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. An attorney will review the situation and advise you on your best course of action, such as a quiet title lawsuit.

Resources:

leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0065/Sections/0065.081.html

leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=65.061&URL=0000-0099/0065/Sections/0065.061.html

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