When an aspect of your property title is challenged it can have serious repercussions. Land ownership disputes can even lead to losing your property if someone like the government or another party stakes a claim.

Using someone like the Sunnyside Title Company will often provide the peace of mind and protection you need from such a claim having an impact on your property ownership rights.

Here is an overview of what you need to know about the Federal Quiet Title Act and what the potential consequences of a lawsuit might be.

Understand the Quiet Title Act

The Quiet Title Act is a lawsuit issued through the circuit court with the intention of aiming to settle a property title dispute.

The ultimate aim of this action is to get the court’s agreement to remove an objection or a claim made in relation to a property title. It is called the Quiet Title Act because its aim is to “quieten” the dispute and establish a clear title at the end of the process.

When are these actions used?

Typically, a Quiet Title action is commenced when there is a dispute relating to the ownership of a property.

These might be disputes with a mortgage lender. It could also be when the title owner is deceased, or it might be when a property has not been occupied for a considerable period of time.

Ultimately, a decision will be made in a court of law as to who is the rightful owner of a property. This action helps remove any uncertainty or potential ambiguity so that the rightful owner can continue their ownership without the threat of a further challenge hanging over them.

Disputes with the federal government

It is common to see Quiet Title actions involving the federal government. 

An example of this would be when easements on your land are held by the federal government. In that scenario, you might decide to sue in order to gain undisputed rights to your land.

There are land disputes that can stretch back for decades. Recent changes in a Supreme Court ruling opened up the possibility that the statute of limitations (12 years to make a claim) may not apply. If that’s the case there could be lots of subsequent Quiet Title actions taken in the future.

Protecting yourself

The consequences of a challenge to your property ownership rights are plain to see and it could become a financial disaster without adequate protection from this happening.

This is where title insurance companies can provide that level of comfort and protection needed.

This insurance is designed to protect you from losing your property. It is also intended to provide a layer of financial protection in terms of costs and expenses incurred from defending a challenge.

You simply never know when a legal claim might be made. For example, what would happen if a new will was discovered that challenged the ownership of a property?

The Quiet Title Act is something that every homeowner needs to be aware of. It is also a compelling reason for arranging title insurance so that you can get the level of protection required when a challenge is made.