Updated on January 27, 2022
In our December 09, 2013 post, we discussed the problems that a lien on property can cause buyers and sellers who are trying to finalize the sale of property. In that post, I also discussed Quiet Title Actions – the most common remedy for dealing with defects in title. In this post, I would like to discuss another method for clearing defects in title that can work just as effectively in certain circumstances.
Under California Civil Code of section 2943, upon the request by the trustor to a deed of trust, the beneficiary must provide a payoff demand statement within 21 days. (Civ. Code § 2943.) In other words, the party who has incurred an obligation, under a deed trust, can make a request for a payoff demand statement from the party who has a lien on the property. In the payoff demand statement, the beneficiary must state the amount of the unpaid balance and interest rate together with the total amounts. (Civ. Code § 2943.) If the beneficiary does not provide the payoff demand statement within 21 days, the beneficiary will be liable for statutory damages. (Civ. Code § 2943.)
In obtaining the payoff demand statement, sellers can better assess whether the liens are valid or whether they have already been satisfied. If the liens are valid, the seller can pay-off the deed of trust and clear the liens from the property. If the liens are invalid, the seller can then proceed with a quiet title complaint to clear them from the property.
We have experience clearing defects in title both through the use of payoff demand statements and quiet title actions. In doing so, we have helped facilitate the successful sale of many California properties.
For help with your real estate claim, and to see if you qualify for a 30-minute consultation, contact our California real estate attorneys by filling out our contact from on this page, by emailing us at [email protected] or by calling us at (310) 954-1877.