What is a suit to quiet title? That’s a strange word, “quiet title.” But what it means is if you have a title to property and there is any question about someone else having an interest in it, you can file an action, and that’s called a suit to quiet title, to clear up any issues. The primary basis for that is under adverse possession. There are two ways to be able to obtain title to property through adverse possession. One is through returning it for taxes, and that’s a special form you file with the tax collector or property appraiser’s office, and then you pay the taxes for seven years, and then you must occupy the enclosure or cultivate the property during those seven years.
At the end of seven years, if you’ve paid the taxes, you can then file what they call a suit to quiet title to eliminate the record title owner’s interest. Another basis for adverse possession is if you have a deed to the property and you have paid the taxes for seven years. However, someone else also has the deed to the property. Well, if you’ve had the property for seven years, paid the taxes and had possession, well, then you file a suit to quiet title to eliminate any of their interest in the property.
Another example of when you file a suit to quiet title is if you buy a property at a tax sale. There’s a special statute which allows you to file a suit to quiet title by giving notice to the former owner or lenders or anyone else who had an interest in the property prior to the tax sale, and that you need to prove in the suit to quiet title they received notice of the tax sale so they had due process. If they didn’t have notice and did not pay the back taxes, well, then the court will enter a judgment saying that you have clear title, and then you’re in a position to convey marketable title to the property with a tax deed, and you don’t have to wait the seven years.
So if you have a title problem and you need to get it cleared up and you – or you need to file a suit to quiet title, give me a call at 727-847-2288. Thank you.