What does it mean to quiet title?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Real Estate |

Tennessee homebuyers may have heard of the phrase “quiet title” and wonder what exactly it means, or if it is something they should be concerned about. Homes or buildings may have several owners over the years, and various lenders or mortgagers may have claims on the property. In these situations, it is natural that at some point a question may arise as to who holds the actual title to the property.

To “quiet” the title to a piece of property means to simply provide an answer, through a legal action, to who owns the title to the property. Anyone who believes they hold the rightful title to the property may file a quiet title action. This can be a recent purchaser, someone living in the property or a mortgage lender or other creditor who believes their lien gives them lawful title.

Why are quiet title actions filed?

There are many reasons why quiet title actions are filed. Sometimes, a quiet title action is a good idea to prevent future problems.

New buyers of a previously empty may want to file a quiet title action to ensure no one else will suddenly show up claiming title to the property. Many properties are transferred through quit claim deeds, which are deeds that make no promises as to who owns the valid title to the property. A quiet title proceeding can also help in this situation.

In some situations, a quiet title action is strongly recommended. Some properties may have long, convoluted histories. This may lead to concern over if any conveyances of the property involved fraud or forgery. Quieting title will bring piece of mind to the current property owners that the title they now own is clear.

Property owners who faced mortgage or tax debt issues in the past, but paid off the debt, could benefit from a quiet title action. The cleared debt may take a while to reflect on documents or in official records, so evidence of a cleared title can be quite helpful.

It is understandable to be unsure if your situation is right for a quiet title action. A knowledgeable attorney can be a great resource.