What is Quiet Title?

An action to quiet title is a lawsuit brought in a court having jurisdiction over property disputes, in order to establish a party’s title to real property, or personal property having a title, of against anyone and everyone, and thus “quiet” any challenges or claims to the title.

The process of quiet title is not an overnight process or pay a lawyer or title company to handle it and it is done. The process can take 8 to 12 weeks (we have heard of some taking as long as 6 months). In 2020, we are looking at this process taking longer with many of the people working on quiet title working at home or the staff is laid off. It is a process of patience no matter when it is started. The sooner the better.

Steps in the quiet title process:

  1. Complaint
    1. Done in county where property is located
    2. Anyone with claim will be notified
  2. Service
    1. Notice to defendants
    2. Can take time to locate heirs and prolonged if someone is deceased with claim
    3. There will be a time frame to respond
  3. Negotiation
    1. If someone responds – you can negotiate how to get them to sign off
  4. Judgement
    1. Judge signs off and notifies plaintiff how the case was decided
  5. Recording
    1. Once you receive the judgement you record it in the county where the property is located
  6. Delivery of the Order
    1. Provide all the documents to the title company so they can continue with your file

The cost of the whole process will vary on the area you are in. We have seen them range from $650 (which is rare) to as much as $4500.

A quiet title action does not give the new owner the same level of protection against the previous owner in most cases; if there are problems with the property, the new owner can’t sue the previous owner, unless he or she acquired the property via warranty deed and sued for defects when the warranty deed was delivered.

Additionally, quiet title actions do not always clear up all issues with a title. In some jurisdictions, they can only be used to clear up specific claims or title defects (you will want to clarify this with the title company or attorney you are using).

Following the quiet title action, the plaintiff will be in full possession of the property in perpetuity, as will be his or her heirs, and they will also be protected from any further claims of ownership made against the property by other outside entities.

A good title company will try to clear up what they can on the title before you jump into the process of quiet title. The title company will be the ones who will eventually tell you what steps you will need to have the ownership rights you seek. If it is out of their control, the next step is that of the quiet title process. They also usually know good real estate lawyers to go to when quiet title is needed.

If you are thinking of buying or selling real estate and would like to talk further about title company needs, please call Gary Brincat or Scott Fader at 248-617-0004 or email them at info@inkedtitle.com

Thank you,

Scott Fader and Gary Brincat
Inked Title, LLC

Inked Title is a veteran owned company located in Michigan. Scott Fader and Gary Brincat are two of Michigan’s multi-million-dollar top producers of real estate with Mitten Realty Group (www.MittenRealtyGroup.com or 248-294-7850) and owners of Inked Title. They have been working in real estate as brokers, Realtors, investors, property managers and real estate and title company owners for over 20 years. Together they would like to share their experiences, knowledge, success and failures to help buyers, sellers, Realtors, brokers and anyone else in the real estate and business, so that together we can grow as a community.