What is Quiet Title? I ask this question to get the reader to think about the two faces of Quiet Title. First, Quiet Title is an equitable Cause of Action that many homeowners’ use to identify who may have an enforceable equitable claim to their title. The reason many homeowners file a lawsuit for Quiet Title as a cause of action is because they believe there is a cloud on the title to their property and that this action would “quiet” any challenges or claims to the title.
Second, Quiet Title is also an equitable remedy. It is a remedy which removes the “cloud” or possible encumbrance on the title to real property. The problem is that in order for the homeowner to receive Quiet Title as relief the homeowner must meet their States’ statutory requirements. Most States’ require in order for Quiet Title to be granted as equitable relief there cannot be an enforceable equitable claim to title to their property evidenced by an obligation such as a properly secured mortgage loan security instrument.
Many homeowners’ filing this action do not truly understand the “two faces” of Quiet Title as a cause of action and equitable remedy. What happens many times is that unfortunately the Quiet Title complaint is remanded to federal court based on diversity and the monetary threshold of $75,000. Once remanded to federal court, a motion to dismiss is filed by the opposition under rule 12(b) (6) requesting dismissal for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. “Rule 12(b)(6) is designed to screen out cases where ‘a complaint states a claim based upon a wrong for which there is clearly no remedy, or a claim which the plaintiff is without right or power to assert and for which no relief could possibly be granted. . ..'” Port Auth, v. Arcadian Corp, 189 F.3d 305, 312 (3d Cir. 1999).
One must be careful as not to put the cart in front of the horse. All action[s] must be timely and Quiet Title as a cause of action should not be done as you come out of the gate. The action that this writer would look at first would be a determination of the status quo for all interested parties claiming an enforceable equitable interest to real property. A Declaratory Judgment would move the courts to address a controversy such as a cloud on title by identifying if rights have been properly acquired in accordance to statutory requirements of law.
Respectfully, Joseph Esquivel Mortgage Compliance Investigators Copyrighted© 2014