The last thing you need is an overpaid and ineffective quiet title attorney. You want an attorney who specializes in solving your unique problem and does not overcharge you for doing so. This article provides the most important considerations to bear in mind as you seek out a quiet title attorney.
Do “quiet title attorneys” really exist?
The term “quiet title attorney” implies that some attorneys specialize exclusively in quiet title actions. Property law is a legal category, and quiet title lawsuits are a small sub-set of property law. Very few attorneys (if any) specialize exclusively in quiet title actions. However, as a real estate attorney, I heavily emphasize quiet title actions, so I am about as close to a “quiet title attorney” as you’ll get. That said, most real estate attorneys or property lawyers can handle a quiet title action. The question is – are they focused enough to handle it in the most effective manner possible?
The best way to protect yourself is to educate yourself.
As in any industry, some attorneys conduct business with integrity and excellence, while others do not. The more you know about quiet title lawsuits, the better you can protect yourself against poor legal practices. You do not need to become a legal expert yourself. But with a little effort, you can get a feel for the basic legal concepts at play. This will help you evaluate your attorney’s performance and determine whether his fees are fair.
For a quick education on quiet title basics, read the following articles:
- What is a quiet title action? Explains the nature and purpose of a quiet title lawsuit, to give you an idea what’s going on behind the scenes.
- How much does a quiet title action cost? Explains the factors that influence the cost of a quiet title action. While costs vary, make sure you have a general sense of fair attorney fees.
- Can I recover attorney fees in a quiet title lawsuit? It’s worth a little time and effort to learn whether you can recover the entire cost of your quiet title lawsuit.
Obviously, these articles do not provide an exhaustive education, but they do equip you to make an informed hiring decision.
Do you really need a quiet title lawsuit? Make sure!
You could potentially save thousands of dollars by avoiding a quiet title action altogether. I once received a call from a property owner who was told by a title company that she needed to file a quiet title action. After reviewing the title work, I determined that the title defect could actually be solved another way. By doing some research and sending my opinion to the title company, I eliminated the need for a quiet title action. This saved the client thousands of dollars. In addition, the client closed the real estate transaction immediately rather than waiting weeks or months on a quiet title lawsuit. This is why it pays to hire an attorney who looks for creative solutions in your best interest, rather than blindly filing a lawsuit and charging a high fee.