You may have heard that there is a "cloud" on the title to your property.  Generally speaking, a "cloud" appears when a recorded document indicates that some other person may have an interest in the property.  Liens, court orders, easements, and random documents can be recorded to cloud a title.  Some clouds aren’t really cloudy at all.  For example, while a mechanic’s lien may appear on your record, they expire quickly and become unenforceable.

Usually, a document clouding your title is there for a good reason.  If you don’t pay your taxes or HOA assessments, the unpaid entities will record liens against your property.  Remove the liens by paying your bills.

To remove an improper cloud from your title, you usually have to go to court if you can’t get the original party to release the document.  There are specific processes for specific kinds of liens, but generally a legal "quiet title" action will allow a property owner to obtain a court decree stating who holds what interests in the property.

If the recorded lien or document has no legal support, you may be able to remove it from title quickly with a "spurious lien" action.  A spurious lien action will usually let you get a court order clearing a specific document from your title in an expedited fashion.  It does not determine all the rights of all parties, like a quiet title action.

You probably won’t know about any clouds on your title unless you are looking to refinance or sell.  If something unusual pops up at these times, make sure to work with professionals to ensure your title is clean and you don’t lose your financing or sale!