If I sell my property via Warranty Deed am I potentially responsible/liable to the buyer if they "need" a quiet title action to get marketable, insurable title - and if yes for how long after the sale? Is their a different type of deed that I should use if yes ? Please read this article by GA lawyers. http://woodandmeredith.com/faq-tax-sales/ I am particularly concerned with these excerpts : "1. Where Can I get Title Insurance for My Tax Sale Property? Answer: Nowhere in Georgia." "No Title Insurer of which I am aware will issue a Title Policy at closing concerning property purchased at a tax sale. Thus, it may be that, if you acquire tax sale property, you may have initially acquired unmarketable title. So what can you do? Well you can track down all of the former owners of the tax sale property and obtain Quit Claim Deeds (QCD) from them. If you produce QCDs and you tax deed post redemption to the Georgia Title Companies, they will insure the title like any other marketable title. Suppose you cannot find the former owners or you find them and they simply will not sign at any price (not an uncommon response). You do not have a lot of good options. Your best bet may be to bring a Quiet Title Action to clear all clouds on title against the former owners and all the World. Read an Article we have posted concerning Quiet Title Actions. Wood & Meredith, LLP and Swertfeger & Scott, P.C. can assist you in clearing the title, however QTAs are all by the hour ($175 – $225) and generally cost from ($2,500 to $7,500). 10. What if No Notice of Foreclosure is Ever Sent? The title should ripen in four (4) years. But, do not expect to eaisly obtain title insurance in Georgia. In Machen, et al. v. Wolende Management Group, Inc., 271 Ga. 163, 517 S.E.2d 58 (1999), the Georgia Supreme Court finally addressed the issue concerning whether tax deeds ripen into good title after four (4) years. In Machen, the Court held that the if the right of redemption is not exercised within four (4) years from the date of sale, it is barred. And, after the time fixed by the statute for redemption has expired, the right to redeem is gone. There is no power even in a court of equity to authorize a redemption of the property in such cases. Tender of the amount due is a prerequisite to the filing and prosecution of suit to redeem property sold under a tax execution. This author, however, has not found a single title insurance company in Georgia willing to write title insurance over an outstanding tax sale. The common practice is to still require a valid quit claim deed(s) for all outstanding interests or require a quiet title action to eliminate the uncertainty of the tax deed. In GE Capital Mortgage Service, Inc. v. Clack et al., 271 Ga. 82, 515 S.E.2d 619 (1999), the Georgia Supreme Court held that a Creditor in a tax sale may not challenge the tax sale based on lack of notice to another party. Here, in a case of first impression in Georgia, GE challenged the sale on the basis that another creditor (not GE) had not received good notice. The court stated that may give rise to damages, but will not support GE’s claim. GE must show lack of notice to GE to have standing on the issue of notice. Georgia is apparently in the minority of states concerning the adoption of this legal position. 45 A.L.R.4th 447, § 4. OCGA § 48-4-48 Ripening of tax deed title by prescription. (a) A title under a tax deed properly executed at a valid and legal sale prior to July 1, 1989, shall ripen by prescription after a period of seven years from the date of execution of that deed. (b) A title under a tax deed executed on or after July 1, 1989, but before July 1, 1996, shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the execution of that deed. A title under a tax deed properly executed on or after July 1, 1996, at a valid and legal sale shall ripen by prescription after a period of four years from the recordation of that deed in the land records in the county in which said land is located. (c) A tax deed which has ripened by prescription pursuant to any provision of this Code section shall convey, when the defendant in fi. fa. is not laboring under any legal disability, a fee simple title to the property described in that deed, and that title shall vest absolutely in the grantee in the deed or in the grantee’s heirs or assigns. In the event the defendant in fi. fa. is laboring under any legal disability, the prescriptive term specified in this Code section shall begin from the time the disabilities are removed or abated. (d) Notice of foreclosure of the right to redeem property sold at a tax sale shall not be required to have been provided in order for the title to such property to have ripened under subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section. This section is not intended to exempt property sold for taxes from taxation for seven years after it was so sold or until it was redeemed. It simply provides a method for perfecting title to property sold under an execution for taxes. Patterson v. Florida Realty & Fin. Corp., 212 Ga. 440,"
Also what was wasn't discussed in the ripening is the possibility of the defendant in fi fa having been under some legal disability.
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