Title Clearing

Get help proving ownership of your home.

Whether you own your property or have partial rights to a property, it is important to understand what a clear title means, and the possible issues that may arise if your title is not clear.

With a clear title, homeowners can take advantage of the benefits of ownership, such as building generational wealth,mortgage assistance programs and the ability to apply for FEMA assistance in a disaster. Homeowners may encounter obstacles called clouds on title when proving ownership of their home.

Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative (DLAC) provides free legal information and limited scope representation to assist Californian homeowners with title clearing. If you are interested in participating please complete the sign-up form below.

How Title Clearing Can Help You


Build Generational Wealth

Homes that are inherited/passed down without a will or other legal document may result in clouded titles because there is no clear owner. Title clearing helps establish ownership.


Prepare for Disasters

To qualify for disaster aid, you must prove that you are the owner of the property. Having a clear title is essential for proving ownership.


Racial Justice

Communities of color have higher foreclosure rates. Having a clear title helps keep your property in your hands by allowing one to apply and possibly receive mortgage relief.

How to get help


Complete intake form


Preliminary screening with an attorney


Meet with volunteer attorney


Complete instructions provided by attorney


Title Cleared

Title Clearing FAQs

What does having a clear title mean?

Clear title is ownership of your property that is free of claims, doubts, or disputes about ownership. A clear title generally means that no one else has a financial interest in your property.

It also means there is no question of ownership, and that the ownership history of your property can be easily traced. Meaning, if you look at the public records for your property and see that one person sold it to another person, and they transferred to another person, who then sold it to another, and so on.

What are common types of title issues?

Title issues arise when property is not legally transferred or deeded over to another person. This is when the title or ownership of a property can become “cloudy”. This can happen when someone dies without a will or something similar, or when a family doesn’t administer a will.

Title issues can also arise when there are claims, doubts, or disputes about ownership of a property that can arise from liens or encumbrances. An example would be a mortgage or mechanics line recorded against the property.

How do I know if my title is clean?

Property owners must complete a title search in the County where the property is located. This title search is done through the public records with the County Clerk.

There are also private search companies that can search the public records and provide information regarding the owner of record and liens or encumbrances that have been filed against the property.

Is there a cost to clearing a title?

Clearing title can be as easy as recording a previously signed deed or drafting a new deed to be signed and filed.

However, clearing a title can be a long and complicated legal process. Some options for clearing a title will require that you file forms with your local probate court or civil court, go before a judge, or be represented by a lawyer.

In any event, it is recommended that that you seek the guidance of a lawyer to help you.

What documents can I produce to prove home ownership?

To prepare for a disaster, you should have copies and digital copies of all your important papers, such as deed, insurance, wills, motor vehicle registration, and court documents.

FEMA requires the following documentation to prove that you own your home:

  • Deed or Title
  • Mortgage document
  • Homeowners insurance documentation
  • Property tax bill or receipt
  • Manufactured home certificate
  • Home purchase contract
  • Last will and testament naming applicant heir to the property
  • Receipts of major repairs or maintenance done within the last five years
  • Letter prepared after the disaster from a mobile home park owner that met with FEMA requirements
  • Letter or mail delivered to your address from an employer, public official, social services organization, school district, mobile home park owner

    These documents should be kept in a safe and secure location, but also easily accessible and if you must evacuate your home, you can grab these documents and take them with you.

How do I prove that I lived at the affected residence if it was off the grid?

If your home is considered off the grid you must provide as much documentation from the list above.

In rare cases, FEMA as a last resort may accept a self-declaration statement form the property heir or owner of property or mobile home.

Where do I go to clear my title?

Follow these steps:

  1. Verify with the county recorder’s office who is the owner of record.
  2. If you are not and believe you should be the owner of record, contact our office and provide the details of the legal ownership of the property and how you came to be in possession and ownership of the property.
  3. Our office will either guide you with the next steps. These steps will vary depending on the circumstances of your situation.

Is a clear title needed to apply for FEMA aid?

FEMA is required by law to verify a survivor’s home occupancy or ownership before it provides certain types of assistance.

Additionally, other disaster relief agencies or organizations will likely need to verify a survivor’s home occupancy or ownership before it provides certain types of assistance.

How can an attorney help me with title clearing?

Yes, DLAC is available to assist you clear title to your property. Please complete intake form to get help.


Title Clearing Guide

House to Home - Title Clearing Pocket Guide

Title Clearing FAQs

Title Clearing Program Flyer

Common Title Clearing Issues

One page guides on common title clearing issues.


Title Fraud

Heir's Property

FEMA Denials

Affidavits of Heirship

Partner Information Flyer

Additional Resources for Homeowners

Los Angeles County Enhanced Homeowner Notification Program

Copies of real estate documents recorded against your home will be sent to you by mail for review

California Mortgage Assistance Program

Financial help for homeowners with missed mortgage or tax payments due to COVID-19 hardships

FDIC Lien Release

Help for paid off loans at a failed bank where the bank’s lien was not released

IRS Taxpayer Advocate

Help from an IRS advocate for resolving tax issues

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