5 Common Property Title Problems

Have you ever wondered why you need title insurance? Your home might be new to you, but every property has a history. Title insurance gives you protection from title problems that may surface after you close so you can continue to enjoy your homeownership rights. Some of the more common types of these title issues are:

1. Errors in Public Records: Let’s face it, mistakes happen every day. But when they affect your homeownership rights, they can be devastating. Something as simple as a filing error or a mistake in a former deed or survey could create financial hurdles down the line

2. Unknown Liens: A property may also have unknown liens that you may have to pay if not resolved prior to closing your purchase. Sometimes, when a homeowner doesn’t pay their bills, the company or bank that they owe can put a lien on the property. Then, if you purchase a property with an existing lien, you may be on the hook to pay them. This is especially worrisome when you buy a foreclosed property. Purchasing title insurance can help you identify and remedy these liens before you close on your home, and insure your rights after the closing.

3. Missing Errors: Missing heirs can also cloud your title. Family members of previous owners can come forward years after that owner passes away and you’ve purchased the home. If they claim to have ownership of the property, it could affect your rights.

4. Forgeries: Forged or falsified documents can also cause property ownership issues. If those forged documents are filed publicly, it can create an unclear chain of ownership, which can make it difficult to prove your ownership status.

5. Survey or Boundary Issues: Disputes can also crop up regarding the boundaries of your property. While you might have reviewed multiple surveys of your property prior to closing your transaction, other surveys might exist that show differing property lines. These could lead to disputes when a neighbor or someone else claims ownership of part of your property.

In short, there are many different issues that can affect your property’s title. Title professionals are skilled at identifying — and curing, if possible — these types of problems before you take ownership. Your title insurance policy then serves to protect you from those issues that may still remain undiscovered. In short, title insurance offers the peace of mind you need when you’re ready to make your home-buying dream a reality.

Still wondering why you need title insurance? First American’s 10 Reasons You Need Title Insurance to see 10 reasons you do.

Originally published by First American Title Insurance Company on February 4, 2014.