What Does Quieting Title to Real Estate Mean?
The term itself is a general term that encompasses a variety of circumstances in which an owner of real property may ask the local superior Court in Washington State to clear defects in title; corrections to incorrect legal descriptions; remove old liens; resolve lien priority disputes and, in many cases ask the court to decide who has right to be on title to real estate.
This area of our practice is quite robust for our attorneys both year in and year out. At any point in time it is not uncommon for our quiet title attorneys to be handling 12 to 15 quiet title cases. As a result, at McFerran Law we are consistently litigating quiet title matters and our attorneys know the ins and outs of what it takes to initiate or defend these important types of real estate claims.
Our Quiet Title Attorney’s Role in Quieting Title
As indicated above, a “quiet title action” in general is all encompassing term used to describe cases where ownership or a variety of interests in record in record ownership are at issue. Any matter that involves “any interest in real estate” may be brought in Washington state courts as a defined quiet title matter.
In most cases our attorneys are hired to eliminate or clear potential interest to real estate that have arisen and they’re not adversely affecting the property owners’ ability to list and sell the property and provide clear title to a purchaser. Our goal is to clear the clouds on the title and have the title reflect the true interest in the real property. Most matters come to our office when a client discovers the defect on their title.
The most common need to retain one of our quiet title attorneys to clear up record title. We want to make sure that the title to the subject properly reflected in county records, and shows in a title commitment from a local title insurance company, accurately reflects the true ownership of the property.
Statutes of Limitation and Quiet Title Cases
There can be different statute of limitation associated with a typical quiet title action. Statues of limitations are enacted by the State of Washington legislature and can determine the length of time to which an action (like quiet title) may be commenced. Failure to meet these rules can be fatal to any quiet title action. We always recommend taking formal legal action sooner than later to preclude procedural difficulties with delayed actions.
A “Lis Pendens” is a term we use to quiet title action which is a legal notice recorded and filed with the court which assist in pre-cursing further transfers during the course of the court proceeding and illuminates further adverse actions until the matter can be resolved through the court.
How We Handle a Typical Quiet Title Action
The first step is to always meet with the property owner. In addition, we will order a title report from the title company to ascertain the legal title defects present. We are then equipped to determine through legal research, retrieving the title commitment as well as, in many cases, a site visit to the property.
After we have all of our ducks in a row and we know the state of title, we can then file the quiet title action with the County superior Court. After we initiate the matter, the matter moves forward as would any other court case. The big difference is that in about 80% of the cases we handle the matter is not adversarial as such and the action ends in default lay the defendants where we simply have to prove has title claim to the court.
Why Choose our Quiet Title Attorneys?
We have years and years of experience in handling quiet title cases. We have handled many cases throughout most of Western Washington. Our actions have led to quieting title successfully including:
- Old liens………………..… gone
- Easements ……..………..gone
- Mechanics liens………. gone
- Competing ownership claims……………………….gone
- Encroachments…….. ..gone
- Licenses…….……………. gone
- Prescriptive easements. …………………………………gone
Examples of Typical Quiet Title Cases:
- Quieting title to real estate to resolve lien priority disputes.
- Quieting title to real estate to clear old easements or matters of record shown on a title report.
- Quieting title to a property owner who acquired property subject to old liens and deed of trust.
- Quieting title to real estate in the form of adverse possession.
- Quieting title to real estate to resolve encroachment issues.
- Quieting title on real estate to eliminate expired easements or licenses.
- Quieting title to real estate to eliminate prescriptive easement issues.
We Welcome the Opportunity to Consult with You on Your Quiet Title Matter
Our Quiet Title attorneys at McFerran Law always have slots open in their daily schedule to meet with clients on new real estate matters. In many cases that one initial consultation can address all the needs of a client on a particular real estate, business, probate or tax deferred exchange matter.
We do not provide free consultations (except in the 1031 tax deferred exchange practice area). We pride ourselves that a single initial one-hour consultation will provide most clients all the information they need to move forward with their legal matter. We don’t have to research, investigate or learn about real estate law matters. Our attorneys can answer on the spot in that initial consultation most real estate questions you may have as they have over 35 years of experience. They only do real estate and matters related to real estate!
McFerran Law has a Special $150 New Matter Consultation Rate
Our Quiet Title attorneys can meet with you by phone, Zoom or in our office for an up to a one-hour time period to go over, in detail, your legal matter and generally provide you valuable legal information to assist you in your individual situation. If your matter will require additional services, your attorney will generally be able to provide you an estimate for such services as well.