How to Remove a Name Off the Title After Foreclosure

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An important task following the completion of a foreclosure, is removing the former owner and borrower's name off the title to the real estate. Ultimately a clear title is necessary in order to convey the property to a new owner. The laws of all 50 states provide two different mechanisms that remove the name of a prior owner from real estate, including an owner who losses possession and title to a property as the result of foreclosure proceedings. These are a quitclaim deed and a quiet title action.

Quitclaim Deed

Obtain a quitclaim deed form from the county register or recorder of deeds.

Complete the quitclaim form. The instrument is not complex and requires very little information. Include the name of the owner whose interest was foreclosed upon and the legal description of the real estate. If not available anywhere else, the register or recorder of deeds provides the legal description to the property.

Contact the foreclosed-upon owner and schedule a time for him to sign the quitclaim deed. Of course, not all foreclosed-upon owners of real estate will agree to sign a quitclaim deed. Nonetheless, this course represents the most efficient process to clear the owner's interest from the property. The execution must be done in front of a notary public.

File the signed quitclaim deed with the register or recorder of deeds in the county where the real estate is located.

Quiet Title

Obtain a petition in quiet title form from the court clerk in the county where the real estate is located. Court clerks typically maintain commonly used forms for people not represented by legal counsel. Quiet title is the legal term used for a lawsuit designed to clear away any potential claims or interests in real estate.

Complete the petition in quiet title. Include the name of the foreclosed-upon owner and her current address. If her whereabouts are unknown, which is a real possibility in this type of situation, make note of that fact in the petition. Reference the foreclosure action, including a statement that the former owner of the property lost legal right to title to the real estate.

File the petition with the court clerk.

Request the court clerk to direct the sheriff to serve the petition on the foreclosed upon owner (if his whereabouts are known).

Obtain from the court clerk the standard legal notice for a quiet title case published in the local newspaper. Whether or not you make service on the most immediate former owner, the newspaper notice is a requirement.

Insert the basic information about the quiet title case onto the legal notice form. The information includes the case caption and name, the legal description of the real estate and the deadline by which any one objecting to the "quieting of the title" needs to notify the court (in writing). The court clerk provides you the deadline.

Publish the notice in the legal notices section of the local newspaper.

Contact the court after the expiration of the deadline in the legal notice. Provided no legitimate objection is lodged during that time period, the judge issues an order clearing away any potential encumbrances to the title, including the name of the foreclosed upon owner.



About the Author

Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.

Photo Credits

  • series object on white: isolated - Signature image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from