In a foreclosure situation, what is the difference between a quiet title suit and a declaratory judgment?

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In a foreclosure situation, what is the difference between a quiet title suit and a declaratory judgment?

We are homeowners currently approved for a modified mortgage under the HAMP program, yet our bank is stalling, now going on 3 years. We feel they may not have actual legal standing, since they may not have access to the original note. We’ve talked to an attorney who suggests that we wait for their lawyer to send us the mandatory letter that they are commencing judicial proceedings, and then file a declaratory judgment. But if a quiet title action is relatively simple, shouldn’t we proceed with that before we’re brought into court?

Asked on May 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

For all intents and purposes with respect to the real estate matter you have written about, a declaratory judgment with respect to a quiet title action absorbs the quiet title claim where title is determined to be held in someone's name by the court and the court then "declares a judgment" as a result.

In your matter, the lender would probably file suit to quiet title to the parcel you have in your name where the lender wants title and you would cross complain for some determination that you are entitled for some declaration by the court that you are entitled to some specific relief concerning the parcel.

I suspect that the attorney you spoke with about your matter simply is of the opinion that the longer the dispute over the property drags out, the better it will be for you.


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