Buying a property requires a significant amount of time and money. Investing in a property with a clouded title may expose buyers to substantial risk, especially if there are unknown claims to the title. In this article, you will discover the legal requirements of a Florida quiet title action.
What is a Clear Title? – Explaining the Concept
In property law, the term “title” refers to the bundle of rights to a piece of property. If you hold the title of a property, you have legal ownership over that property. A “clear” title is a title without any lien, levy, or impairment from other parties that may jeopardize the property’s ownership.
Florida property owners must work with an experienced title attorney to perform a title search. During the title search, the attorney will examine public records and pour over the property’s chain of title to identify the existence of title clouds.
This way, it is possible to uncover any potential issues that may result in questions regarding the property’s ownership rights.
Filing a Quiet Title Action in Florida – The Essentials
A quiet title action is a civil lawsuit in which the owner of a Florida property asks the court to declare a judgment to determine the legitimate ownership rights on that property.
Under Florida Statutes §65.021, the court adjudicating the lawsuit “shall determine the title of plaintiff as against defendants and enter judgment quieting the title of, and awarding possession to, the plaintiff entitled thereto (…).”
The same statute provides that the court “may enter injunctions, temporary or perpetual, appoint receivers, and enter such orders about costs as are necessary to protect the rights of the parties.”
A quiet title action is a valuable legal tool to clear the title of a Florida property from several issues, such as recording errors, unknown heirs, fraudulent conveyance, document forgery, and adverse possession.
Once the court issues the judgment declaring the title free from claims or interests that may jeopardize its ownership rights, the title is “quieted” by the lawsuit.
Please note that a quiet title action may not clear a title from certain issues, such as federal tax liens, bank mortgage liens, and zoning issues. Consult with an experienced title attorney to identify whether filing a quiet title action is an ideal solution for your case.
Once the plaintiff files a quiet title action, all the interested parties with claims to the property must be served notice of the process. The interested parties have 20 days to respond to the plaintiff’s claims, counting from the date of service.
If one of the interested parties cannot be found, the notice must be published in a locally circulated newspaper for four consecutive weeks. The length of the process may vary depending on how easy the parties are to locate and whether one of the parties involved will raise defenses to the lawsuit.
Florida Quiet Title Requirements – Find a Winning Strategy by Working with Attorney Romy B. Jurado
As it is plain to see, filing a quiet title action requires a strategic approach. Waste no time – call Attorney Romy B. Jurado today at (305) 921-0976 or email Romy@juradolawfirm.com to schedule a consultation.