In any New York residential real estate transaction, it is critical for the buyer to ensure the seller has clear title to the property. As we have discussed in a previous post, purchasing a title insurance policy is an important step and is usually required by lenders as a condition of financing. But what if the title search performed by the insurer turns up a serious defect? In that event the buyer may opt out of the transaction altogether. Alternatively, the buyer or seller can take steps to cure the defect.
Title issues can include everything from improperly recorded documents to forged deeds and tax liens. If the issue is minor, it is often possible to get it resolved before closing. If it is a serious issue, or one which could give rise to a third-party claim to the property, it may be necessary for the owner to commence a quiet title lawsuit.
In a quiet title lawsuit, notice is given to all parties who may have a potential claim to, or interest in, the property. Once all potential claimants have had an opportunity to come forward, the court will issue a judgment that establishes clear title and "quiets" or ends any challenges to the title. Sometimes potential claimants fail to appear in the action, but the court's judgment is conclusive as to their claims as well.
At the law firm of Nadel & Ciarlo, we have extensive experience with all kinds of title issues and disputes. We have experience with adverse possession claims, easement issues and partition lawsuits, among many other types of disputes. For more on this area of our real estate practice, please visit our web page.