Maybe you inherited a piece of property from a family member, or perhaps you purchased it in a non-traditional manner, such as through a land contract. You may have become the owner without actually doing a thorough title search prior to claiming ownership or addressing any blemishes on the property’s title.
It might only be when you go to execute a new deed, refinance the property or sell it that you realize there is an issue with your title that will impact the transaction. What are some of the title issues that you may need to address before a real estate transaction?
Confusion about boundary lines
Sometimes, there is incorrect or conflicting information about the actual boundary to a property. If your legal description sets a boundary that overlaps with your neighbor’s property, you may need to execute a deed to address that issue or possibly even bring in a professional to survey the land and clarify the true boundary.
Old liens that are still on title
Generally, lenders and creditors have to take steps to remove a lien from a property when someone pays off a mortgage or the judgment that resulted in the courts placing a lien on the property. Unfortunately, both banks and small creditors, like contractors with a mechanic’s lien, could fail to remove their liens even after the homeowner satisfied their financial obligations.
Disputes about the ownership of the property
Sometimes, there are more people claiming ownership of a property than just the current owner on record. Perhaps the property passed through the probate courts as part of an estate, but there is an heir with a strong claim who believes they are the owner of the property. Divorces can also sometimes lead to complicated title issues, especially if one spouse fails to properly repay the other for their interest in the home.
There are different ways to address specific issues with the title for a piece of real estate. Sometimes, quiet title court proceedings are necessary. Other times, filing new deeds with the County Recorder’s office can resolve the issue. Having the right support when you respond to title issues will make it easier for you to smoothly complete your upcoming transaction.