The title record for your property provides a detailed history of ownership. Title records show who signed deeds for the property and how they held title. They can also help preserve someone’s rights when they have an easement or when the homeowner owes money.
Generally speaking, the County Recorder’s Office keeps up-to-date records regarding ownership, liens and other title concerns. However, there can sometimes the errors in the public record or title issues that can impact an owner’s interest in a property or their ability to do with it what they wish.
Quiet title proceedings involve going to court to have a judge remove blemishes or clouds from the title records of a property. What are some of the more common reasons that people initiate quiet title proceedings for real estate in Florida?
There is an outdated lien on record
Liens often relate to financing, such as a mortgage or a home equity line of credit. However, parties other than financial institutions can sometimes have a lien against a residential property.
Someone granted a judgment and a lawsuit against an individual might have a lien against their property, as could a contractor who performed work on the home but never received payment. Quiet title action can help remove a lien from the property’s title when the homeowner has proof that they have paid the debt or judgment in full.
There is a name on title that shouldn’t be there
Perhaps someone refinanced the home years ago during a divorce and intended to remove their spouse from title, but they never actually recorded a new deed. Now, their former spouse is impossible to reach because they have fallen out of contact.
When there is proof that there is a name on title of someone who no longer holds an interest in the property, a judge may agree to remove that additional owner from the title so that the remaining owner or owners can move forward with planned transactions, like refinancing.
There is a questionable or expired easement
Easements give other parties, often neighbors or utility companies, specific access to a property. Sometimes, easements only persist for a set number of years. Other times, they are only necessary while certain conditions exist on the property. When an easement is no longer necessary or valid, homeowners could potentially initiate quiet title proceedings as a means of removing that easement before selling, transferring or refinancing the property.
Learning about how the courts can help resolve complicated real estate issues can benefit those who own real property in Florida.