Ten issues that can impact real estate title! (Video)

By | December 3, 2014

While most residential and some commercial real estate sellers, buyers or refinancers don’t give much thought to title insurance or the title insurance portion of a transaction, the fact is that it actually one of the most critical!

Here are ten of the ways that a title issue can get in the way:

  1. Public Record Errors

Public record errors, while uncommon, do happen. All it takes is a simple clerical error to mess up the deed of your home – and you’re stuck paying to fix the issue.

  1. Liens

Most property owners are aware when a lien is placed on them as they often receive a notice in the mail stating such. But, if you just purchased a property, you have to deal with the liens of the previous property owners. Unfortunately, even if the debt is not yours, the lender or bank can place a lien on the last known property of the debt owner. To have these unknown liens removed, you may have to spend a few days in court defending your case, and of course, hire an attorney.

  1. Deeds by Illegal Immigrants

The deed on your home by you is valid, but in some cases, a person in this country may have filed a prior deed. This can change the enforceability of the deed and possibly affect your ownership status of the property.

  1. Heirs

If an individual dies, the ownership of his or her home may go to an heir of the estate. But, if the beneficiary is missing at the time, the property ownership can be contested by other family members. Even after the property is sold estate issues can arise, making your own ownership an issue.

  1. Forged Documents

Forged documents can affect your ownership, especially if those forged documents were filed and recorded for public record.

  1. Third Party Claims

In some cases, a third party may have a claim to your property – which is not disclosed to you at the time you purchased the property. These claims can be due to a mortgage lien, financial or non-financial claims, etc. A third party claim can limit your own use of the property until it is resolved.

  1. Easement Issues

Easements can prohibit you from using your land in the way you intended. Also, certain easements may allow government officials to enter your property without your permission. Easements are not usually financially related, but they are a hassle and can severely disrupt your life.

  1. Survey Issues

When you are buying a home or property, you will be presented with a few boundary limits and surveys, but you may have noticed that each one has a slightly different boundary. In these cases, a neighbor could claim a portion of your property as theirs, and these types of disputes can hold up your title processing for some time.

  1. Will and Testament

When an owner dies without a will, the state uses its discretion to sell off and distribute assets. But, years later a will could be found that gives another party rights to the property, even if you purchased it and live in it.

  1. False Impersonations

Buying a home should be straightforward, but sometimes there are false owners who will sell the property, even if they do not have rights to do so. In these cases, you may risk losing the property.



Michael Haltman, President of Hallmark Abstract Service, New York.

HAS is a provider of title insurance in New York State for residential and commercial real estate transactions specializing in the areas of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.

For anyone either buying a property or refinancing, remember that although your attorney will likely recommend a title insurance provider, you always have the right to choose your own title company (click here to learn more)!

If you have any questions you can reach Michael by email at mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

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