An Oklahoma quiet title action is a lawsuit filed by a plaintiff against the defendants who may have a claim to real property, asking the court to determine the rightful owner. A defect or a cloud on the title will render it unmarketable making it hard for the owner to sell or otherwise transfer the title to another person. A quiet title action helps clear ambiguities on the title, resolve property disputes, and allow you to establish the superiority of your claim against other claimants.

The suit in essence is a process of clearing title to the property against claims such as adverse possession, instances involving real property disputes, title defects, and lien removal, among other things.

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Here are 5 tips if you are planning on filing a Quiet Title Action in Oklahoma:

Tip #1. Thorough title search: Before you decide to file a quiet title action, it’s important to conduct a thorough title search to determine all interested parties. You must either hire a real estate attorney to conduct the search or request a title report from a title company. The search will also help uncover the chain of title, any breaks in the chain, lean, easements, or any other types of title encumbrances.

If you miss any vital information such as a claim of an adverse interest, or the party who may legally assert such interest on the property, your quiet title action may not be successful. Or even worse, a party with a valid claim to the property that was not included in the lawsuit may emerge years later, causing you to spend needless time and money.

Tip #2. Proper notice: After the quiet title petition has been filed with the court, the next step is to properly conduct a service of process on all interested parties. Like any other lawsuits, you must serve the petition and summons as directed by the law, on all interested parties – otherwise, the final judgment order cannot be enforced against that party. If that happens, the title is not completely clear of all claims, and that party may assert his or her claim in a court of law in the future. Make sure that the petition has been filed correctly, and that the lawsuit has been properly served on all interested parties as outlined under Oklahoma law.

Tip #3. Notice of action publication: In some cases, the newspaper notice may not be necessary. But if you are unable to locate and serve all parties that may have an interest in the property, you must publish a notice of action in a local newspaper. The publication puts all named defendants with a potential claim to the property on notice. That way, when the judge finally signs the judgment in your favor, such a judgment is enforced against all defendants, and there are no procedural issues in the future.

Tip #4. Attending a hearing: After correctly filing the quiet title action, properly serving the petition & summons on all defendants, and publishing notice in a local newspaper, it’s time to appear in front of a judge for a hearing. You must show the legal basis for your claim to the ownership of the property to the judge. The hearing involves you or your attorney showing up to the court and producing evidence to establish ownership. If the judge agrees with you and determines that your ownership interest is superior to all other parties, then he or she will sign an order clearing the title of all other claims.

Tip #5. Hire an attorney: You are not required to hire a real estate attorney to commence a quiet title action. The entire process consists of several steps and must be performed correctly to increase the chance of a desirable outcome. If one of the interested parties were not properly served, or some were left out, these individuals may claim their interest in the property in the future – causing you to spend unnecessary time and money. However, an experienced real estate attorney can conduct a thorough title search, correctly file the petition, properly serve the required documents, and attend the hearing on your behalf. Thereby, increasing the likelihood of a desired outcome from your quiet title action.

OKC Quiet Title Attorney: Real Estate Attorney Oklahoma City

If you are facing a clouded title or any real estate dispute you may need a real estate attorney to guide you through every step of the way. With our knowledge of statutory law, experience in filing petitions, and attending hearings, we can help you clear the title to your property. If you would like us to help you with a quiet title action, schedule a consultation by calling our office at (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us Form.