Josh Price recently spoke with Murray Hill’s real estate brokers at The Bamberger Group to discuss the use of action to quiet title and its relevance to New York City real estate:
[The Bamberger Group] “One of the issues you specialize in is action to quiet title. Can you tell us about the problems posed by a break in the chain of title to a property? And in New York City, what could this problem mean for a prospective buyer?”
[Josh Price] “Actions to quiet title can take a number of different fact patterns:
- One that you sometimes see is just, some scoundrel records a fraudulent deed claiming ownership of property, and the rightful owner will have to bring a lawsuit to have that fraudulent deed expunged.
- A second way you could bring an action to quiet title is if more than one contract of sale is entered into for the purchase of property, and you’ll need a court to decide who is actually entitled to purchase the property.
- A third way that you see an action to quiet title is if you have something that’s called an ancient mortgage, that’s on record. In New York, if a person who signs a mortgage and has a promissory note recorded against a property doesn’t make a payment for 72 consecutive months, and nothing is done to take an action to enforce the note or enforce the lien, then the mortgagee could bring an action to quiet title, seeking to have that mortgage now expunged. Or if it’s an ancient mortgage– I mean truly ancient– like someone got a mortgage 50 years ago, the mortgage was satisfied but no one ever filed the satisfaction of mortgage, you might have to bring an action to have a court declare that that mortgage is actually satisfied, or to at least expunge it from the chain of title.
And I could probably think of other examples as well; like I said, actions to quiet title can take a number of forms.”
Read the full interview on Bamberger Answers: Broken Links in the Chain of Title