Overcast and Cloudy: What is a Cloud on Title?

Real Estate Law

When it comes to real estate, property disputes are many and varied. Disputes can arise in any number of ways. Certain disputes can create a “cloud on title.”

What Is a Cloud on Title?

Whenever there is a dispute over who owns certain real property, or a portion of it, there is said to be a “cloud on title” to the property.

In other words, a cloud on title exists as to real property if there is an apparent claim or encumbrance (like a lien) on the property which, if true, would impair the right of the owner to transfer his property free and clear of any other party’s interest in the property.

The existence of a cloud on title casts doubt upon the property owner’s ability to convey marketable title to his or her land. Having marketable title is very important. While the phrase is interpreted a bit differently from state to state, in general it means that the evidence of title shows that the title is “good” or “clean,” and reasonably free of defects that would give rise to litigation. This is important because, among other things, a cloud on title will diminish the real property’s value.

What Happens if There is a Cloud on Title?

If there is a cloud on title, one remedy (there are others) for the property owner is to bring a quiet title action to clear title to the property.

In Georgia there are two different types of quiet title actions.

  • A “conventional” (quia timet) quiet title action, and
  • A quiet title action (quia timet) “against all the world.”

A conventional, quia timet quiet title action is one in which ownership is resolved only as to the particular defendants named in the action.

The other quiet title action, quia timet against all the world, resolves ownership against all named defendants in the action and as against “all the world”—in other words, anyone at all who may have, or may claim in the future, an interest in the property.

As a property owner, it is important that you have clear and marketable title to your property. Clear title is essential if you are trying to obtain financing for the property or sell the property. For this and other reasons, quiet title actions are an important aspect of real estate law.

Experienced Real Estate Counsel in Georgia

If you find yourself in a dispute about real estate or need to know more about clouds on title, contact us. We are experienced real estate counsel in Georgia. We handle all aspects of real estate transactions and litigations and we can help. We have offices in Cumming, Georgia and we serve clients in and around Atlanta, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, Forsyth County, and a number of other counties in Georgia. To schedule your free phone consultation, call 770-888-7707Or you can contact us here, or send inquiries by e-mail to: lawofficesofmarkweinstein@gmail.com.

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