Seven Common Title Problems That Can Impact Your Closing Seven Common Title Problems That Can Impact Your Closing

Seven Common Title Problems That Can Impact Your Closing

Sep 04 2017

Every property has a history, and sometimes it is fraught with legal and financial problems. No matter how good the deal looks or how honest the owner may seem, you won’t know what you’re getting into without a methodical title search to uncover Title Problems. If you’re going to take legal ownership of a property, you want to make sure that it doesn’t include taking on costly liabilities.

The following are just some of the Title Problems that can potentially derail a closing or haunt your ownership down the road.

Mistakes in the Public Records

Given the sheer number of documents that are recorded in a given day, there is always a chance of a clerical error. Even something as seemingly innocuous as a misfiling could prove problematic, especially if it involves a deed or survey.

Unknown Liens

One or more of the previous owners may have owed money that they never paid back. If you take title without these debts being paid, creditors can place a lien on your property that becomes your burden to bear. This problem is particularly prevalent in transactions involving distressed properties, such as REOs and short sales.

Unknown Encumbrances and Easements

An encumbrance is any claim, right, or interest in a property from a party other than the owner, such as unpaid taxes or mineral rights. An easement is the right of someone to use the property for a certain purpose, such as a city’s right to run an electrical line across your property. In either instance, your ability to make full use of the property will be impacted unexpectedly.

Boundary Disputes

A land survey is among the prerequisites for closing. However, even the most accurate survey could end up in conflict with another survey – a neighboring property’s survey may depict an overlapping boundary with your own, leading to the possibility of a claim over a part of your property.

Invalid or Illicit Deeds

Even if the chain of ownership seems sound, a close examination may reveal issues with one or more of the deeds that were used to transfer title from one owner to the other. Examples include deeds made by a  minor or someone found mentally incompetent, as well as cases where the individual’s marital status in the deed is different from the public record at the time. Deeds that are determined to be  invalid will impact your ownership rights.

Unknown Will or Heir

If a property owner died without any known estate plan or heir, their assets – including the home – may be sold by the State of Florida. Even after you take title to the property, if a previously unknown will comes to light, or if a legal heir makes a claim, your ownership could be challenged.


It is not unheard of for criminals to forge deeds and other legal documents, or to impersonate someone else when selling a home (especially if the alias is a common or similar name). In either instance, your legal ownership of the property will come into question regardless of when the deceit is uncovered.

Given the multitude of Title Problems that can snag your closing or stain your home ownership, it pays to employ a title company that knows what to look for and how to resolve them. Marina Title has protected numerous clients from the multitude of Title Problems that stand between them and their real estate goals. To learn how we can help you, contact (305) 901-5628 or email

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