Even though your home is new to you, every property has a title history which requires research. New home builds even have issues because the land likely had several owners before you purchased the home from the builder.
If there are any pending issues with your property, then you may inherit these problems when you acquire the home. The presence of an attorney will protect you prior to the sale, and carrying title insurance will protect you after you have acquired the property. Some of the problems associated with titles include unknown liens, boundary disputes, deeds given under duress, easements on your land, and even issues with public records.
Did you know that nearly 1/3 of title searches reveal a title problem that needs to be fixed before a home closing can occur? If you are purchasing a new home for yourself and your family, it is highly recommended that you protect yourself with title insurance. Before you sign the papers for your home, it is important to have your attorney to look over everything. The loan for a home has an average payback period of 30 years. Don’t spend 30 years stuck in an unfair situation when you can protect yourself with the services of an attorney.
The presence of an attorney will protect you prior to the sale and carrying title insurance will protect you after you have acquired the property. Some of the most common title problems associated with home buying are:
– Unknown Liens: Even if the former debt which caused the lien is not yours, you may inherit a lien with your property. After the sale has closed, it is still possible for you to get a lien imposed by a bank or financial institution. Luckily, many liens can be corrected easily with the right professionals on your side.
– Undiscovered Will: The state can sell a property if a property owner dies without leaving a will with an heir defined. You may buy a home from the state and therefore assume your ownership rights. If a will does get discovered, another person could have a legal claim on your property.
– Boundary Disputes: Before you buy a home, the boundary of the property will be defined by the county. In the future, other records may indicate different boundaries of your property. A neighbor or another homeowner may find themselves with a claim to some of your property.
– Issues with Public Records: A small mistake in filing or record keeping can affect the deed to your property or the survey of your land. In most cases, these problems can be rectified but it does take time and legal resources to fight the county.
– Forged Public Records: Although this should never happen because it is wildly dishonest, there may be fabricated documents or false public records from another owner that could hurt you. Your home rights could easily be in jeopardy because of someone else’s blatant dishonesty.
– Previous Deeds Made Illegally: The title of your property may be sound but previous deeds could have bene made by a person that could not legally be a deed owner. Some of the ways a deed could have been unenforceable would include signing by an undocumented immigrant, a person not of sound mind, a person who says they are single but is actually married, or even a minor. This can alter prior, and also present, ownership.
– Previous Sales from a False Owner: Similar names in the past often caused problems that made it easier to impersonate the owner of a property. If the home you purchase was sold by a false owner, you could lose a legal right to the property.
– Easements on Your Land: An unknown easement on the land could allow the government or a business to have access to specific portions of your property. This may not affect your financial situation but it will alter your quality of life by hurting your ability to enjoy your property.
– Claims by a Third Party: At the time of your home purchase, you or the county may not know that another person besides the seller has a claim to your property. If a third party comes out of the woodwork with a claim to your property, the only way to protect yourself is with an attorney and insurance.
– Deed Given Under Duress: It is not unheard of for property owners to sign over the deed of a property in order to prevent foreclosure because of threats imposed by a bank or large institution. When you are purchasing a foreclosed home or investing in a short sale, make sure an attorney looks over all of the paperwork involved in the purchase.
– Records Relating to Bankruptcy: If the previous owner of the home filed for bankruptcy, then they could have easily made a records mistake in the filing. Because different types of bankruptcy lead to varying property results, it is all too easy for a record to be made in error.
Title insurance was designed to protect property owners in every type of issue that may arise from the transfer of a home title. By definition, title insurance “protects against events that occurred in the past of the real estate property and the people who owned it, for a one-time premium paid at the close of escrow.” Because you are committing to a 30-year investment, it is always recommended that you add even the most minor of costs to your home purchase if it will ultimately help you.
Just as with health insurance and car insurance, you hope you never use it but having the protection is always advisable. In the case of a situation which requires the use of your title insurance, a claim will be filed and defended by your insurers. The insurance company protects you and works to the terms and conditions of your policy.
If you are investing in a home or piece of property, take every measure you can to protect yourself from future problems with title insurance. Family law matters in the future can depend upon the experience you have with your home’s title. Contact the skilled real estate attorney Miami at Carolan Law for more information about how they can represent your real estate and property interests in cases of family law and property disputes. Carolan law serves clients in Miami and the surrounding areas. We are available by phone at (305) 358-2330 or online at www.carolanfamilylaw.com.