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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 39178
Experience:  Attorney and Real Estate broker -- Retired (mostly)
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I sold a home in Kissimmee Florida in December 2007. The married

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I sold a home in Kissimmee Florida in December 2007. The married couple that bought it apparently stopped paying the mortgage company in June 2012. I just got served a summons from Green Tree Servicing LLC (plainiff) which named me and my wife as defendents on in Circuit Court Osceloa County civil division. As far as I can tell we are named defendents under Count II (quiet title) since the warranty deed failed to contain our marital status which make the conveyance defective and creates a cloud on the title. I have 20 days to respond to the summons. Is this a valid claim to name us in this complaint? I plan to see an attorney to help me response to this summons.

A quiet title action is used to finally settle the rights of interested parties in real property. The plaintiff must provide notice to all known persons who may have any interest in the property, so that they can contest the claim, if they wish.

Assuming that the only issue here is that the plaintiff wants to confirm that you do not have title to the property, then you can contact the plaintiff and agree to a stipulated judgment that the grantees on title have the right to the property. Frankly, I'm kind of surprised that the attorney for the lender didn't contact you first and simply ask you to execute a "correction deed." Seems to me that filing a quiet title action under the circumstances does nothing but create a big bill for the lender/loan servicer. If I were that loan servicer, I would be looking to find a different law firm to represent my interests, because instead of a fix that could be effected for maybe $1,000 in billing, the quiet title action will almost certainly generate $10,000 or more.

Anyway, before you spend money on a lawyer, carefully read the complaint and see if the plaintiff is actually seeking damages from you. Even if the answer is yes, you could still contact plaintiff's counsel and offer to sign a correction deed in exchange for a complete release from all further liability and a dismissal of the action with prejudice. Which would end the matter before it gets started.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I really feel like money spend on a lawyer in this case might be best for our protection. We are in WA state, do you think a real estate lawyer will charge me a substantial fee? Some addition information below that perhaps you and perhpas you can put in plain language for a simpleton like myself.

The summons states that the plaintiff prays:

That we as the defendants set forth the nature of their claims to said real property:

That all asverse claims to said real property be determined by a decree of this Court.

That said decree declare and adjudge the defendents (the wife and husband that purchased the home) owen the property in fee simple, is entitled to quiet and peaceful of said real property, and that the defendants and all persons claining under them have no estate, right, title, lien or interest in or to said real property or any part thereof, and the plantiff has the first mortgage lien on the subject property.

That the said decree enjoins the defendants (my wife and I) and all persons claining under them, for asserting any adverse claim to plantiff's mortgage on said real property.

For such other and futher relief as the court deems just and proper.
I think that hiring a lawyer is a good idea, even if the only purpose is to try to obtain a stipulated judgment and a dismissal of the case -- or at least a dismissal of you from the action.

The complaint doesn't actually obligate you for anything. It merely serves to try to confirm that the buyers are the legal owners, and so the lender has the right to foreclose against them.

For a competent real property lawyer referral, see this link. Concerning costs, I suspect that you will be into about $5,000 to make this issue go away "quietly" (no pun intended).

Hope this helps.