What percentage of Quiet Title Actions succeed?

14 Replies

So I didn't know what what a Quiet Title Action was until yesterday. I am under-contract to purchase two properties in Colorado from a seller in California. I was going to pay to close at a Title company here in Colorado to have the Title insurance and the confidence that they had looked for all possible liens. Everything was going well until I mentioned to the Title company that the seller obtained ownership of the properties through tax liens. The Title company then said they can not insure the Title or close it for nine years!

The Title company then mentioned I could do a Quiet Title Action to "clear" the title. This is a court order put forth by attorney to settle the ownership of the property. My understanding is the cost is about $2000 and the timeline is about 2-3 months. Six months after this is done, the Title company would be willing to do a close, which would allow me to sell the property  or get a mortgage on it if I wanted (I think).

In my research, I read one place that 90% of Quiet Title Action succeed in clearing the Title. Does anyone have extensive experience in this area? Is that percentage accurate?

My tentative plan is to do a Title Search in hopes of digging up any possible red flags. Then purchase the properties without Title insurance or closing at a Title company. Next, pursue the Quiet Title Action on both properties. Finally, renovate once the Quiet Title Action is completed. Any thoughts on this plan.

Thanks.

Mike

You may want to shop different title companies. It's typically up to the underwriters as to how they treat tax lien sales and that will vary state-to-state. Not sure why they would want a 6-month seasoning on a Quiet Title action, though. 

As far as your tentative plan, I suppose that would work. I'd still do the closing with a title company...just let them know you aren't seeking title insurance with the transaction, just closing and escrow services. That keeps everything above-board and helps make sure all the "i"s are dotted and "t"s are crossed on the legal paperwork and that your deed gets recorded properly. I suppose if you're comfortable waiting things out with holding costs, etc. then it's a viable route to go but I'd check with other title companies on the tax sale thing first to see if the one you've been talking to just has overly-restrictive rules for that.

Be careful using any out-of-state turnkey companies for the quiet title (or even the foreclosure of right to redeem).  I am a real estate attorney in Georgia, so i can't comment directly on your state's laws, but a good number of my tax lien cases (foreclosure of right to redeem as well as quiet title) involve fixing issues caused by one-stop shops who don't know the law.  If the quiet title action is contested, $2k sounds way too cheap.  If it remains conventional, not against "all the world," and uncontested, $2k plus costs is about right.

the reasons most tax liens need quiet title is the insurers worry that someone with a interest in the property was not properly notified.  so when they do the quiet title they usually have to dig deep and serve or notice anyone who may have been missed.. if the notifications are fine its a simple process.

the ones I am doing in SC can take 6 months to forever.. depends on who needs to be notified.. 2k is super cheap to do this.

At least here, in a tax lien/deed situation, the quiet title action affords an opportunity to lien holders if the process was  not properly done by the tax collector,  as to the state statute, proper notice to lien holders,  etc.

@Michael W. I am second what @Sam Bagwell said, I will use a local attorney that specialized in quiet title to clear title; instead of the one that's out of town. They may be $1500 cheaper, but I rather have a peaceful  mind. 

My experience in GA is 5-7 months. $3500 to $4700 depending on each case. Like @Jay Hinrichs said $2K is super cheap.

@Jim Viens

Thank you for the insight. I talked to another investor locally today. He recommended the same thing. I will call a few more title companies to see if I can find one that will handle the closing without Title insurance.

Mike

@Sam Bagwell

Thank you for the insight. The attorney that I talked with yesterday is local. I'm always one to try to save a buck, but with your warning I will stick with a local one when it comes time to initiate the Quiet Title Action.

Mike

@Jay Hinrichs

@Tom Yung

I called a few attorneys and they were all between $1500 and $3000. Cost of living is pretty cheap in this part of Colorado. It is also not contested at the moment, I just would take the Quiet Title Action in case I needed to sell it at some point in the future. The plan is buy and hold for a long while, but it is good to have a Plan B.

Once again, BP has been an incredible help. I will let you know what I find out tomorrow and if I can close on these two properties.

Mike

@Michael W.

Congratulation & so true that it's always nice to have an option Plan B

Glad to help.  I bought my first tax lien before I became an attorney, and had no idea what i was doing.  I didn't get completely burned, but was definitely surprised with all the "wrapping up" involved in solidifying my title to the property.

Hey Michael,

How did this turn out for you?

I just recently encountered pretty much the same type of scenario here in Pueblo CO. Can you share contact info for the attorneys you spoke with?

Thanks!

- Sam

Hey Sam,

Crazy that this has drug on so long. I now have three properties that need to go through Quiet Title, but I have started the process yet. I will send you the contact in a PM that I am planning on using.

Mike

Hey Mike,

Can you PM me the attorney's name as well? I would appreciate this info as well.

Thanks,

Kevin

Originally posted by @Michael Wentzel :

Hey Sam,

Crazy that this has drug on so long. I now have three properties that need to go through Quiet Title, but I have started the process yet. I will send you the contact in a PM that I am planning on using.

Mike

@Kevin S.

Hey Kevin.

Sorry I missed your messages. I will send you an email now with the contact.

Mike

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