After relocating to Texas, you have finally found the perfect house to buy just outside of Tyler and are eager to give up your rental.
The house has been unoccupied for some time, and you have plans for a complete renovation. But is a quiet title action the first step toward ownership?
Understanding quiet title action
Sometimes called a “friendly” lawsuit, the purpose of a quiet title action is to determine legal ownership of a property, such as the home you wish to buy. If you need to obtain a mortgage, you must have title insurance. However, the title company will not provide a title insurance policy if there is any doubt or ambiguity about property ownership.
Clearing up claims
There are several situations that could require filing a quiet title action:
- Cannot locate records to verify the payoff of a mortgage or tax debt
- A boundary dispute or survey inaccuracy exists
- Deed fraud exists
- A property comes on the market through a foreclosure or sheriff’s sale or an estate or tax sale
- The owner of a property dies, leaving the property to his heirs
And, as in your case, a quiet title action is necessary to answer questions about the possible claims of heirs or lien holders to an unoccupied house.
Complicating the issue
A quiet title action may not make certain legal claims disappear, for example, a federal tax lien. Complications such as a past deed forgery may also complicate the filing procedure. The attorney helping you with your purchase of the unoccupied house can also assist you with the quiet title action so you can obtain the necessary title insurance.