Do you remember going to those camping retreats when you were younger with the boy or girl scouts? The troop would gather around the camp fire when it would get dark, melting s’mores on twigs, until it was inevitable that the night would end with scary horror stories that would leave everyone trembling in their boots. In a tax deed investor’s world, the horror stories aren’t those of goblins and ghouls, but instead are of horrible experiences that lead to losing precious time and money on a Quiet Title Action. Shudder!
We recently attended our first NTLA annual conference at the end of February. After congregating and sharing each of our individual experiences we had at our exhibit booth, we found there was a common theme that kept popping up in conversations. One conversation in particular was about spending $6,000 to serve European heirs and another involved spending 6 months chasing down Board members of defunct corporations.
Who wants to wait four years to apply for a new title when they could potentially sell it as soon as 20-30 days from acquiring it? Why risk paying large amounts in attorney fees and costs and waiting anywhere from 6 to 12 months (or more!) for a Quiet Title when this service is not even guaranteed to clear the title? Why risk having more horror stories? In Florida, the answer is as simple as getting online, taking less than two minutes to create a profile with cleartosell.com, and then having an outcome in 20 days or LESS? So why not give it a shot? Let us help turn horror stories into success stories to tell at the next conference!
admin March 7, 2015
Posted In: Quiet Title
Quiet title actions were not originally designed for the complexities of debarring those clouds that can be found on title after a tax deed sale. It is a judicial process intended for much simpler resolutions of title issues such as incorrect entries on title deeds, or incorrect spellings, dates, etc.
Because of the foreclosure debacle, the due process of quiet title actions has been stretched to the limit. In recent months, we are seeing judges apply far more scrutiny to each case. We frequently see judges requiring extensive evidence of the attempts to serve related parties before they will allow service by publication. We are finding it necessary to not only evidence that we have tried to serve related parties at their primary home, their second home, their place of work and anywhere else they could plausibly be; but also to evidence that these attempts to serve have occurred at varying times of the day, and in some cases multiple times of the day and night.
All of this means that the costs associated with quiet title action are rising dramatically, and the time periods from start to finish are extending beyond reason – with many cases now spanning a year or more.
Quite rightly, attorneys can only give a flat rate quote for their professional fees and then must recoup their costs and expenses on top. These costs and expenses are unknown and can vary greatly depending on the number of related parties, and the complexity of service of process. One recent case required the service of process upon 16 heirs spread across the US and Europe. We are aware of cases where the attorney’s fees have been doubled by the costs and expenses.
So what can be done? Well, if quiet title action is your preferred way forward, then at least get a good estimate of the total time and total costs before you instruct your attorney. Insist that a Foreclosure report be studied to assess the number of related parties. This will help to estimate your costs, but you will still be at risk of significant cost escalations if the attempts at service become complex and protracted.
Our view? Quiet title actions will become too expensive and too time consuming for those with a desire to turn a profit from their investment in a tax-deed property. Faster and more cost effective ways such as www.cleartosell.com will emerge as the normal procedure.
admin October 14, 2014
Posted In: Quiet Title, Tax-Deed