As we discussed in a previous post, whether you can quickly remove a cloud from a title depends on the nature of the cloud. In many cases, it will be necessary to initiate a court proceeding known as an action to quiet title, in order to clear the title.
You may be wondering if it is necessary to remove a cloud from the title in the first place. The answer, of course, depends on your plans for the property.
If you are trying to sell your property with a cloud on the title, then you probably won’t find a buyer who is willing to pay market value. The cloud on the title represents a real risk that a third party can claim ownership of the property at any time. You would likely have to sell the property at a deep discount to induce a buyer to assume that risk. Likewise, it is doubtful a buyer could obtain title insurance on the property without exception, a requirement of most mortgage lenders.
On the other hand, if you plan to give the property to heirs through your will, then it may not as be important to you to ensure clear title. (The cloud on the title, however, will pass with the property, so your heirs may have to deal with the problem at some point.)
A successful action to quiet title will settle the matter and remove the cloud, usually in a matter of a few months.
The action must be filed by the party in possession of the property in a county where all or part of the land in question is located, must identify the land which is the subject of the complaint, and must claim a legal basis for relief. Any related deed, mortgage, or other document should be attached to the complaint, which must be served by actual service, posting, or publication as allowed by the Court. Pa. R.C.P. 1061, et seq.
For more information about removing a cloud from a title or filing an action to quiet title, contact a professional real estate attorney. At Scolieri Law Group, P.C., our lawyers have represented commercial and residential brokers, agents, mortgage bankers, landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers. We have the experience to assist you in all your real estate law needs. Contact us today at (412)765-0546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.