When you have a few hours free, can you please do me a favor and Google “What’s the Difference Between a Title and a Deed?”.
The tl;dr answer to that question is that a deed says who bought and sold a property, while a title tells you who owns it. These two documents don’t always agree.
The inspiration for my request was an article I was reading about a house in Detroit.
After a two-year period, the house was supposed to go in my name. The deed did – the document that gives me the right to own the property. But this is different from a title, as mortgage companies will describe it, because a deed is a document while a title is a legal framework, a set of conditions that confer uncontestable ownership of a property. The title didn’t change hands.
I discovered this when I put the house on the market, two and a half years after I had moved into it. That was when my title agency informed me that the title to the house was still in Tomeka Langford’s name.
I found 52 Tomeka Langfords on Facebook, and soon gave up any attempt to make direct contact. After all, I was told the legal process from here was straightforward – it even has a name. My title agency suggested a law firm, QuietTitle.com, that specializes in quieting titles. For a set price ($1,200 back in 2018) and in lightning speed (90 to 180 days), clients are guaranteed a squeaky-clean title and uncontestable ownership of a property.
The reason this matters to me is that I bought the Clendenin House from someone who bought it in a tax auction. I have a quit claim deed which says I bought the property, and that sale has been recorded with the county, but I do not necessary have _title_ to the property. I won’t have a clean title until after I consult with a firm like QuietTitle.com.
If you are going to get into buying property in tax sales, you’re going to need to get familiar with this issue.