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What are the quiet title requirements in Michigan? When an individual has purchased real property from a county tax auction, he or she will often seek to obtain title insurance. To obtain title insurance and before acquiring “marketable title,” a judgment quieting title in favor of the tax deed purchaser is necessary. In order to properly quiet title, the purchaser must strictly comply with the quiet title requirements set forth in Michigan’s quiet title statute. Failure to strictly comply with any of the numerous quiet title requirements as set forth by the statute may cause a purchaser’s quiet title action to fail. It is essential to retain an attorney to commence a quiet title action that has significant experience with the quiet title requirements in Michigan.

quiet title requirementsIf any of the quiet title requirements set forth within the statute are not met a quiet title action may fail. The Michigan Court of Appeals dealt with such an issue in Detroit Leasing Company v. City of Detroit. In that case, the plaintiff brought an action to quiet title to a piece of abandoned property that he purchased at a tax auction in Detroit. In his petition to quiet title, plaintiff was required to submit, among other things, an affidavit from the county treasurer certifying to the previous owner’s lack of payment within the 90-day redemption period.

In an attempt to satisfy this requirement, the plaintiff submitted a document that was not notarized entitled “Wayne County Treasurer Certificate of Forfeiture of Real Property.”  The City of Detroit argued that because the document was not notarized, the certificate did not constitute a valid affidavit as required by the statute. The Court of Appeals agreed, holding that “within the realm of tax sales of real property, strict compliance with statutory requirements is an overriding policy.” Even the slightest deviation from the statutory quiet title requirements, such as not notarizing an affidavit, may be grounds for a quiet title action to fail.

Michigan’s existing quiet title requirements are set forth in MCL 600.2932.  The statute provides:

Any person, whether he is in possession of the land in question or not, who claims any right in, title to, equitable title to, interest in, or right to possession of land, may bring an action in the circuit courts against any other person who claims or might claim any interest inconsistent with the interest claimed by the plaintiff, whether the defendant is in possession of the land or not.

Under Michigan’s existing quiet title requirements, it is imperative that the retained attorney follow all of the steps to quiet title. The quality of the legal services, the strict compliance with the quiet title requirements, and the efficiency of the process are critical to successfully obtaining title insurance and marketable title.

Please contact the attorneys at QuietTitle.com (a division of The Darren Findling Law Firm, PLC) to ensure that your quiet title requirements are handled properly.