A quiet title action is a lawsuit that is filed with a court against all adverse parties and is generally brought to solidify a party’s ownership in the real property by resolving an ownership dispute, correcting title defects, among other things. Broadly speaking, a quiet title action is a legal action where the plaintiff asks the court to determine who the real owner is. To successfully complete a quiet title action, you must be able to convince the court of the legal reasons why you are entitled to the sole ownership of the  property.

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Quiet title action where the ownership is disputed in Oklahoma

Many quiet title actions are brought about by a party where there is a dispute as to the ownership of the real property. For example, a piece of the land, or some part of it which you believed to be yours can possibly be owned by your neighbor. On the other hand, the portion of the land that is located outside the boundaries of your land could be yours, after a statutory period of time have passed. Either way, when disputes like these occur, usually between neighbors, one of the parties may bring a quiet title action to clear title and solidify ownership.

Real-world situation: After living on the property for over 15 years, your neighbor correctly brings to your attention that your fence is over the property line by several feet. Although your neighbor is the record title owner of that patch of land, you have been in full, open, exclusive, and continuous possession of it. In addition to the few feet of the land being inside your fence, you have continuously used it and maintained it for over 15 years.

Under such a situation, you may have a claim to the few feet patch of land under the doctrine of adverse possession. Provided that you satisfy all statutory requirements for the adverse possession, you may sue your neighbor in the court with a quiet title action and ask the court to grant you the title to that patch of land.

Quiet title action where there is a defect in the chain of title in Oklahoma

A chain of title for a particular real property shows a sequential transfer of the property from one party to another – starting from the very first owner to the most recent one. In other words, an inspection of a chain of the title reveals all owners of that piece of property.

Many different reasons may cause a defect in the chain of title, making it difficult for the owner of the property to sell the property, one such situation is when a previous owner’s estate never gets probated after the owner dies.

Real-world situation: Tim’s stepfather who is married to his mother and owns the house as a joint tenant with her, passes away several years ago, however, his estate never gets probated. Then his mother passes away, and her estate gets probated, conveying her house to Tim. What seems to be the problem here? Tim owns the house and the ownership is not an issue here, but the problem is that his deceased stepfather is still listed as an owner of the house on the public record because his estate was never probated.

When Tim tries to sell the house, the buyer after examination of the title report may refuse to go through with the transaction because Tim does not own the property free and clear.

In such a situation, Tim must initiate a quiet title action to remove the cloud in the title by filing a lawsuit against any other possible claimants – such an action will explain to the court that the stepfather’s estate was never probated (the title defect), and ask the court to remove the deceased step father’s name from the record title. After the judge signs the order quieting title, you may file the order with the county property records stating that you are the sole owner of the property.

Quiet title action where the property is conveyed using a fraudulent deed in Oklahoma

A deed is a legal instrument that is used to convey ownership interests in real property from one person to another. The title to a property is transferred from a grantor to a grantee after the grantor prepares the deed that contains both the party’s names, property description, and grantor’s signature, and is signed by a notary public.

However, if the deed was obtained by fraud or forgery, somewhere along the chain of title, and there may be claimants who may assert their interest in the property in the future, you may need to initiate quiet title action to clear the title.

Real-world situation: After forging the true owner’s signature, Frank signs over the title to himself, pretending to be the owner of the land, thereby conveying the piece of land which he does not own. After forging the signature of the actual owner and filing the fraudulent document with the county, he receives a copy of the deed showing that he is the new owner.

Frank later conveys the land to you with a quit claim deed, and you pay good money for the property. Sadly, you do not realize that Frank never owned the piece of land, or that the original conveyance was fraudulent, and it only comes up later on when you try to sell the property. 

Under such a situation, you may need to initiate a quiet title action to clear the doubt as to the ownership of the land and ask the court to determine who the real owner is. A successful quiet title action will help you clear the title and solidify your ownership of the land, preventing any adverse claimants from coming out of the woodwork later on.

Quiet title action where there is a lien on the property in Oklahoma

If certain debts remain unpaid, the person whom you owe the debt can assert a legal claim to your property by filing a lien on that property. You may have trouble selling or financing a property with a lien on it. The lien holder in essence owns a portion of your property, and you do not own the property free and clear. The matter is even worse if there was a legitimate lien against your property, and since then you have paid off the lien, but the person never filed a lien release with the county.

Real-world situation: You hired Larry to replace the air conditioner unit in your rental property, and for some reason, Larry was never fully paid for the job. Unbeknownst to you he files a lien against your rental property. Shortly thereafter, you pay in full what Larry is owned and there are no payment disputes.

However, Larry never filed a lien release with the county, and the lien is still visible against your property on public records. You will have a hard time selling the property with the lien on it. You may need to initiate a quiet title action to remove the lien from the property and to ensure that you own the property free and clear.     

Quiet Title Action Attorney in OKC

If you need help with your quiet title action and would like to hire a real estate attorney with a solid understanding of the quiet title procedure to assist you with the entire process, please contact the law office of Vivid Niroula. You can reach us by calling (405) 456-9250, or by filling out the Contact Us Form.