Title insurance is one of the best protections for property owners who encounter a fraudulent or invalid title. Property ownership, and the ensuing transfer of title, can be complicated and fraught with legal loopholes that can cost you greatly if uninformed. There are a few major pitfalls to avoid.
You’ve Been Duped
According to Trading Economics, about 590,000 residential properties were sold from January to November in 2016. Given the amount of money to be made in this industry, it’s not surprising that some unscrupulous people will want a piece of the pie. Hence, in some cases, crooks sell a home that isn’t even theirs; they present a title they have no authority to issue.
A title is basically a declaration of ownership. When buying a home, you need to make sure that there is a clear transfer of ownership for the property to be legally yours. Sometimes, though, ownership can be complicated enough to affect the validity of the title you hold.
Say you bought a home from someone, but it turns out that he or she co-owns the property with an ex-spouse who hasn’t actually signed off on the sale. Indeed, it turns out the signature of the seller was forged. You may have paid real money for the house, but the title you own is fake.
When there are any unpaid dues attached to a house, a lien may be placed on it. In such cases, it cannot be legally sold until all delinquencies have been paid. A lien can be meted on a property owner for unpaid taxes or services, such as home improvements by a contractor. Liens can be overlooked when you purchase a home and therefore invalidate the title—a cause of great concern to the buyer.
Error of Inheritance
Homes are often passed down to descendants of a recently deceased person as part of a family trust. However, sometimes an outdated will or a no longer valid administrator of the will sell such properties, essentially committing an invalid transaction.
As you can see, the world of land titles is legally complex. To avoid being inveigled into a sketchy agreement, hire a trusted title company in Miami that can negotiate a deal in your best interests and guarantee a valid title.
Title Insurance: Why a Home Buyer Needs It, nolo.com
Why Buy an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy?, wsj.com
United States New Home Sales , tradingeconomics.com