A quiet title action is a legal proceeding used in Pennsylvania to determine who has ownership of real estate. This procedure can be used to address a dispute over who owned property or can be used to fix a technical error related to property ownership.
Why file a quiet title suit?
There are two key reasons why a quiet title suit might be filed. First, this aspect of real estate law might be used to correct a technical title defect. It could be that there is no argument about who is the legitimate owner of the property. However, because there have been conveyance errors, there are defects in title records. As a result, a person cannot sell or refinance the property. In this instance, a quiet title can fix the issue.
The second reason is a legitimate dispute between several parties over who owns a piece of real estate. The defendant in a quiet title lawsuit is any individual claiming ownership of the property being debated. During the lawsuit, claimants can assert their interest in the property. If they don’t, that right is lost forever as is their claim of ownership. However, anyone who does assert an interest will be part of a legal dispute over property ownership.
Alternatives to quiet title suits
Quiet title litigation can be time-consuming and expensive. At times, property disputes can be addressed by talking to the right person and asking them to sign a document like a quit claim deed. In other instances, ownership disputes can be resolved via a private agreement. When the title issues pertain to a deceased person, ancillary probate or probate will likely address the issue.