What Title Errors Will a Title Search Find?
While not required, it’s risky to purchase a real estate property without a title search. Titles are documents that prove a seller’s ownership of a property and whether or not they have debts on it. Without this proof, there’s no guarantee that another person or entity can’t come and claim that the property you purchased was illegally sold. These situations happen when you don’t spend time checking for title errors.
Checking for title errors is simple – you just need to find the right title insurance lawyers to go through a property’s records and ownership details. You don’t have to do any of the complicated research, we handle that for you. All you have to do is contact the title insurance lawyers at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam.
What Title Errors Will Title Insurance Attorneys Find?
There are a few common title errors that a title search is likely to find. These are caused by several factors, including erroneously written records, identity theft, forgery, and more. Some things like liens and easements don’t put the title’s validity into question but affect how much of the property you would own after your purchase.
These are incredibly common and difficult to catch. Forgeries are where one or more signatures are wrong on items like titles and deeds. Even today, it’s common for people to forge other people’s signatures so they can claim ownership of properties and inheritances that aren’t theirs.
It’s important to find these as soon as possible. If a long chain of ownership is undone, your ownership of the property comes into question. What commonly happens is that someone else discovers the forgery after the purchase, and you find yourself without a place to live or run your business.
#2. Errors In Public Records
All real estate properties should have some kind of documentation with the local county clerk’s office. This can be a deed, mortgage, ordinance, land survey, and more. These documents can prove someone’s ownership and what parameters are owned by whom. An error in one of these files that don’t match the original documents held by the owner can lead to issues with the property boundaries. You may find that you have less or more land than you thought. Both can lead to issues with your neighbors.
#3. Missing Wills
Our estate planning attorneys do their best to make sure that wills and trusts are well thought out, up-to-date, and made known to your heirs after your passing. Not all estate planning law firms can promise the same, and some people don’t use attorney services for their wills altogether. This can lead to wills being found after the state has distributed the estate or followed an outdated will. Catching these will make sure that the seller has the right to sell the property.
#4. Unknown Liens
Liens are similar to debts. It’s when a person or entity completed unpaid work on the property, and the owner of the property owes them a debt. Liens affect credit and can stop service purchases and updates to the property.
When a real estate property has liens on it, the liens may prevent it from being legally sold or may transfer over to the new owner. Some of the revenue from the property sale can go directly to the lien holders but this needs to be established before the purchase goes through.
#5. Unknown Easements
Easements are agreements that give another person or entity the right to use parts of your property without continuously asking permission. Some of these can be harmless, such as someone using roads on your property to access their own. Some are less so, like government easements that allow them to attend, build, and tear down buildings dedicated to public services without asking you.
#6. Missing Heirs
Sometimes when a will is read, the heirs aren’t available to collect their assets, but that doesn’t change the fact that the assets are theirs. This can become complicated when the estate doesn’t know there are new heirs, such as children born after their parent’s death, or heirs who were thought dead or missing. When heirs can’t be found, the property is sold, but when the heir comes back, they can still have rights to a property, which can put those who just purchased it in jeopardy.
#7. Survey Disputes
Land surveys map out where a property line starts and ends. Surveyors take physical surveys and use legal documents to create and provide proof for land surveys, but they are not all created equal. They can be mistaken, incomplete, or inconclusive, leading to survey disputes between neighbors.
When a seller is selling land that’s in a survey dispute, they can’t accurately tell the buyer how much land they’re purchasing.
Contact Attorneys Who Will Catch Title Errors
The title insurance attorneys at Mazzoni Valvano Szewczyk & Karam have extensive experience making sure that our clients aren’t making dangerous purchases. You deserve to have a new home or business location that won’t be swept out from under your feet years down the road. With a proper title search, we can find all the title errors that could threaten your ownership of the property you want to buy. Contact us today so we can help.