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IPR investigation finds issues with notification requirements in property disputes

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Experts tell the Midwest Newsroom that shortcomings in the way Iowa’s quiet title law is written include vague language that defines how someone can argue that the property belongs to them. Another is the way people are notified – or, as in Natalia’s case, are not notified – that there’s a dispute about ownership of their property.

Imagine scrolling through Zillow and finding your house — the one you own — listed for sale by someone else. This was the reality for a Marshalltown family that almost lost their home without their knowledge.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer returns to his conversation with IPR's Kassidy Arena about her reporting on this case in Marshalltown and the Iowa law that allowed a house title to be changed over to a stranger.

Also this hour, relisten to Ben's conversation with presidential historian Tim Walch about historic firsts at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The story on quiet title was done in conjunction with the Midwest Newsroom, an investigative journalism collaboration including IPRKCUR 89.3Nebraska Public Media NewsSt. Louis Public Radio and NPR.

The first segment of this show first aired on February 10, 2022. The second segment first aired on February 8, 2022.

Guests:

  • Kassidy Arena, covers Iowa’s Latino and Spanish-speaking communities for IPR
  • Tim Walch, director emeritus of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River