If you intend to buy or sell property here in Mississippi, one issue that can arise is a dispute over the true owner of the property. As we referenced in an earlier blog entry, purchasing title insurance when you close on a real estate deal protects you from the unforeseen consequences of defective titles to your home or parcel of land.
But it won’t be possible to obtain title insurance when there is no clear title to the property in the first place. It can be a real dilemma, but fortunately, there’s a way to get it remediated.
Quiet title actions clear up ownership issues
The term for this legal proceeding — quiet title action —stems from what it accomplishes for the petitioner. You file the legal document and present your case to the court, including any evidence that proves you are the legitimate owner of the property. This action “quiets” any dispute over a piece of property and clarifies its true owner’s status.
Seeking a quiet title to a property should not be your first resolution attempt. Quiet title processes typically take months, not days or weeks, to resolve. By that time, your dream property can be sold or your buyer in the wind. Yet, they have the advantage of settling any claims.
Circumstances where quiet titles are useful
Older homes and land parcels that have been non-probated heir property for multiple generations frequently generate ownership disputes among the decedent owner’s heirs — and their succeeding descendants.
Some heirs cannot afford to open probate on a property they otherwise occupy. Quiet title actions can put to rest cases of adverse possession that arise under those circumstances.
Title actions can be complex
When something as valuable as the rights to a piece of property is at stake, it is vital that you have a good understanding of Mississippi property laws before filing a quiet title claim.