Huh? Well, correct me if I am wrong but I believe you have to be the owner of the property to start a quiet title action. Any attorneys out there who disagree, please comment.
An action to quiet title is a tool used by homeowners to eliminate interests of parties who cannot be found. How do you do it? Well, you hire an attorney - preferrably one who practices real estate law. The attorney will review the matter at hand and work with you to identify parties whose interests must be extinguished, then put the matter before a judge. The judge will order that advertisements be placed in publications likely to be seen by said interested parties. If no one comes forward to claim their interest, the judge would order the matter settled and thus quiet title.
If you have an issue requiring a quiet title action to obtain title insurance, the title insurer will determine whether or not you may proceed and close with an escrow guaranteeing the quiet title action OR you have to postpone closing pending completion. Each case is unique and the decision whether or not to close will largely depend on the severity of the problem and if it's impacting actual core title or simply certain rights.
How long does a quiet title action take? That really depands on the attorney handling the case. A diligent attorney moving the case along as quickly as possible will have it done in a matter of weeks. On the other hand we've seen attorneys put the case on the back burner and let it go unattended for months or years before a disgruntled homeowner goes crazy. As with anything else, choose your attorney wisely and you'll be in good hands.