Removing Someone from a Real Estate Deed

Image of two people at a desk with real estate deed discussing removing one of them from the deed.

Removing someone from a deed—is it possible? The short answer: No.

Misconceptions and Realities

It is a misconception that someone can be “removed” from the deed.

Nor can a co-owner simply take away another party’s interest in a property by executing a new deed without that other party.

In short, no one can be passively removed from a title.

Even if an owner “added” someone else to the real estate deed previously, the first owner cannot reconsider and take the second person off the deed.

Why?

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What Is a Quiet Title Action?

What is a Quiet Title Action?

A quiet title action is a special legal proceeding to determine rightful, legal property ownership. It is often a preventative or “friendly” lawsuit to ensure that no other parties have conflicting claims to a title, or to resolve an ambiguity. Depending on state law provisions, the plaintiff—that is, the party filing the complaint—may be the mortgage lender, a potential buyer, the legal title holder, or someone in actual possession of the property.

Prevailing in a quiet title action enables the rightful owner to get title insurance, to take a loan out on the property, and to convey the property free and clear of any cloud on the title.

When to File a Quiet Title Action

Whenever doubt or ambiguity arises as to ownership in a title search, the title company will not issue a title insurance policy. This means the property lacks marketable title. To obtain a mortgage loan, title insurance is necessary.

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