It is important to have clear designations for land ownership. This allows the swift and precise rectification of issues concerning encroachment on the land.
However, land ownership is not always crystal clear in some cases. In such instances, quiet title auctions may be necessary.
Having peaceable possession, or documented possession of the land, is essential to the quiet title auction process. In order to qualify for peaceable possession, parties must meet a few set criteria:
- Paid taxes on the land for at least five years
- Have a deed showing ownership
- Have possession of the land
Those parties that can show these elements usually receive the peaceable possession designation. However, there are a few cases where this may not be so. If the land is unenclosed or is a wild wooded area or wasteland, parties are not able to claim peaceable possession. As long as none of those characteristics apply, the party with peaceable possession may request a quiet title auction.
In accordance with the quiet auction laws, as part of the filing process, parties must show their peaceable possession. If no one contests the possession request, the court validates the peaceable possession and grants the land ownership to the party. On the other hand, if any parties object, they may present their claim. The court will evaluate both claims and then make a determination. Once the court makes a final decision, it becomes binding, and parties cannot make any additional claims.
The will can be very beneficial to the auction process. In many cases, these situations arise from land being passed down through generations without clear designation of the boundaries of the land. Also, there are some instances where the boundaries no longer stand or nature disrupts them. In any case, the will can serve as a starting point for determining the reasonable parameters of the estate.
By understanding these key aspects of quite title auctions, parties may decide the best course of action in their situation. For further detail, it may be helpful to review the law in full.