Red Flag/issues

Four Common Title Issues

Jun 29 2015

Receiving the title for a new home should be a straightforward and stress-free process, especially when you have an expert by your side the entire way. Yet, sometimes issues arise, and when they do, it is important that you have title insurance. Here are four common title issues you may face:

Inheritance Issues

When you buy an estate property that has already gone through the probate process, it is usually safe to assume that you now own the home outright. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many homeowners. Every so often, a will may turn up that suddenly puts your home ownership in jeopardy. Even if it has been years since you bought the house, a legal battle may ensue if a lost will is found.

A similar situation can happen if the named heir in the will is missing. In this scenario, the estate may still claim and sell the property. But if the aforementioned heir suddenly appears and demands his or her rightful property, your title and rights to the property may be at risk. For more information visit our Residential Services page.

False or Fraudulent Conveyance

Buying a house from an impersonator, or one that was once sold by an impersonator, could leave you without a home. There are many people who share names in the world, and stealing an identity has become a common crime. An experienced attorney can help ensure you are purchasing a home from the rightful owner.

An impersonator is not the only instance in which dishonesty can jeopardize a home sale. Public records can be tainted by forged documents. When these forgeries are discovered, they could affect your title if it is discovered that someone else is the rightful owner.

Unknown Burdens

When you purchase a home, chances are there is a mortgage on it. New homeowners tend to assume that is the only debt associated with the house and that it will be paid off at closing. However, this is not always the case. Unpaid bills and other debts from the previous owner(s) could suddenly become your responsibility due to liens on the property. Along the same lines, the former owners’ undisclosed debt may result in you having that pay that debt off or sue the former owner in order to satisfy that lien.

The land surrounding your new home may also have issues. An unknown easement may mean you cannot use it as you wish. In addition, it may grant businesses or the government the right to use pa of your property.

Paperwork Issues

Filing and recording your deed with the county clerk is typically a simple process. But a clerical error or a simple misfiling can put your home ownership at risk. In addition, poor or conflicting land surveys could affect your property line, allowing someone else to claim what you paid for.

An illegal title could also impact your home ownership rights. A title sold to an illegal immigrant, a minor or someone else who, for a myriad of reasons, could not own the house may threaten your right of ownership. This could affect you even if the unlawful sale happened many years ago.

With so many unpredictable issues that could crop up, title insurance is a must-have. If you would like an expert to examine your title, or if you are in need of title insurance, email us today at or give us a call at (305) 901-5628.

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