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Ray, Lawyer
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Experience:  Texas Attorney for 30 years dealing in real estate
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Do I need an attorney to file Quiet Title Action in Utah?

Resolved Question:

Do I need an attorney to file Quiet Title Action in Utah? How do I do it myself?


I purchased my primary residence 5 years ago from a builder who had purchased 2 properties to build one new house. He represented the two properties as being included with the house he built and sold to me. I had no knowledge that there were two properties nor did the real estate agents involved. The property had been newly fenced and landscaped and I had no reason to suspect it was two properties. I did not get a survey.

I discovered a year after closing that the second lot existed as a small part of my backyard and was not included in the sale. So I contacted the builder who said it was a mistake/oversight and that he forgot to consolidate the two properties into one before he sold it to me. He agreed to quit claim the property to me. However, by then, his company had run into financial trouble and there were over 5 million dollars worth of liens on the property (the property in question is only worth maybe $10-15,000), all liens were related to other projects that this builder owed money on and his business has since failed.

My research has led me to conclude that I want to proceed with a Quiet title action. I have paid the taxes for 5 years but cannot wait to file under "adverse possession" grounds because I need to sell the property now. Waiting another 2 years to satisfy the 7 year possession rule in Utah is not an option. No one will buy my house with this problem lurking and I am stuck.

If I can possibly do this myself, I would prefer to do it because I have lost so much value in my home, it barely has equity left. The problem is the clouded title now and all the liens recorded. Perhaps I could file based on "fraudulent conveyance". I don't think that the current owner (the builder) would dispute my claim to the property. But I need to gain ownership of it in order sell my house.

By the way, I did go to the county tax sale when the property became delinquent 5 years, and I was there to purchase the property (in exchange for payment of delinquent taxes) but to my surprise, another anonymous bidder was there. So the two of us bid for less and less property, and I ended up with only a strip of the property (about 20%) with a tax deed. So the other 80% is still in the name of the builder, even though I paid all the taxes. The tax sale didn't go well for me but at least I prevented someone else from getting it. Now I just need to resolve this another way.........?by Quiet title action?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ray replied 5 years ago.

RayAnswers :

Thanks for your question and good morning.A quiet title action by a local lawyer is your only remedy.There are no premade forms here and a lawyer given your facts is essential.The court would award you legal title here.This is really you only remedy here with the additional lot.

RayAnswers :

Here are lawyers in Utah that do these kinds of quiet title suits.

RayAnswers :

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I want to click accept but I understood that I have joined the service for a monthly fee. How do you get paid since I have paid for the service. There is a $25 fee next to my question.

RayAnswers :

They only charge you one fee.You can click accept here its how we are paid.Here is the law for reference

RayAnswers :

78B-6-1301. Quiet title -- Action to determine adverse claim to property.
A person may bring an action against another person to determine rights, interests, or claims to or in personal or real proper

RayAnswers :

And the rest here you can click on arrow keys and it goes through all of the statute

RayAnswers :

Thanks for letting me help you.If you have more questions post for Ray and I will be glad to help you.Take care.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We talked about doing a Quiet Title last time.


Since then, I researched the county records again on the lot and it turns out there is just one Deed of Trust recorded against the lot (actually there are two but it is the same company named). There was also a judgement recorded but the judgement has been satisfied but not recorded. I thought there were alot of other judgements and liens on the property but there is not. I am waiting for a title company to research the lot and make sure there isn't anything else.


But if its just this one investor involved with the two recorded deeds of trust, it might be possible to acquire the property through other means than Quiet title. The president of the investment company that originated the loan was very helpful when I called him and he is willing to release his company's interest in the property (small lot worth 10K) to me. I was advised that I could then foreclose on the property, a process that might be quicker than Quiet Title, less costly (about 1K instead of 5K) and wouldn't required any cooperation from the builder (the construction company that defaulted on the loan and has been difficult to find. It seems that the construction company is gone (license is expired with discipinary action) and the principles are uncooperative).


Are there any pitfalls in going with a foreclosure action?


Seems like if I acquire the deed of trust on the property, I could foreclose later when I sell my house/property, which is my goal in doing all of sell .

Expert:  Ray replied 4 years ago.
Thats sounds like it might be a real option here and it would be faster than a quiet title suit.If there are no more judgments or liens I see no reason why you could foreclose and resolve the title problems.You might consider using title company to do the foreclosure to make sure it is done correctly.
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