Title Disputes Attorney in Blaine, Minnesota
Suppose you’ve found a residential or commercial property that suits your needs and desires perfectly, and you’re well along in the process of finalizing the purchase. Suddenly, a title defect blocks you from closing the deal.
What is a title defect? There are different types of title defects, or events affecting the property in question that occurred in the past and now must be resolved before someone can take title to that property. These defects can include boundary disputes, errors in recording the existing title, liens on the property, disputed ownership, fraud and forgery, and more. These defects generally will turn up during a title search, which mortgage lenders require to make sure that the transaction they’re funding won’t come back to haunt them. Generally, these searches are conducted by title insurance companies, but attorneys, too, can be called upon to conduct the search.
If you’re in the middle of a real estate transaction in or around Blaine, Minnesota, and title defects are blocking the closing of the deal, contact me immediately at The Law Office of Robert J. Everhart, PLC. As a real estate attorney, I will help you resolve the defect so you can move forward and secure the property you desire. I know how important it is to have peace of mind about the soundness of your purchase. My office is in Blaine, but I proudly serve clients throughout the counties of Hennepin, Ramsey, and Sherburne.
Common Types of Title Defects
A quiet title is a title to a piece of property that is without any defects, and that is the goal of any title search and any subsequent legal, documentary, or other action: to find or achieve a quiet title. A mortgage lender will not proceed with funding a loan unless all defects and disputes have been resolved, nor should you want to be in possession of property with title defects associated with it.
Different types of title defects can appear during a search. Common among them are:
ERRORS IN PUBLIC RECORDS: There may be clerical errors or omissions in the deed to the property that need to be corrected before the transaction can proceed. A new deed will need to be processed.
LIENS: A lien can be placed on the property for debts, taxes, or other obligations owed. These must be paid off before the title can be cleared and the mortgage lender satisfied.
BOUNDARY ISSUES: Sometimes the boundaries of a particular piece of property are not clearly defined, or there may be encroachment onto someone else’s land or onto public property. The property itself also may be encroached upon. Easements, legal or otherwise, also may pose an issue.
ILLEGAL DEEDS, FORGERY, AND FRAUD: We’ve probably all seen TV advertisements for title fraud insurance, with someone claiming how easy it is to forge the title to a piece of property. Sometimes even spouses and co-owners resort to forgery to remove the other party from the title or to add someone else to it. Additionally, there can be issues of a title illegally being obtained by someone under the age of 18 or not of sound mind.
UNCLEAR CONVEYANCE: Heirs and previous owners may have improperly transferred title to the property, leaving someone still with a claim to the ownership to some degree years or decades later.
Resolving Title Disputes and Defects
You can—with your attorney’s help—seek to obtain a quit claim deed from someone who is still on the title, or you may be able to negotiate an agreement with the person or entity that may still have some ownership interest in your prospective property. Liens will have to be paid and removed from the title. If these goals cannot be accomplished through negotiations, then court action may be necessary.
Quiet title refers to a legal action to resolve ownership issues on real property. The purpose is to “quiet” the title and remove defects so that the purchase can proceed.
As for boundary disputes—for instance, a neighbor has built a fence or other structure that encroaches on your property—there are different ways of resolving the issue. The encroaching party can purchase the land, or a prescriptive easement can be pursued, which would allow the encroaching property owner to use the land without having title to it.
Role of an Attorney
An attorney will obviously be needed in any quiet title action but will also prove essential if you seek to resolve disputes and defects outside of the courtroom. In addition, title insurance companies will often require, as a condition of closing, a Letter of Undertaking from a law firm attesting to efforts to quiet the title.
Title Disputes Attorney in Blaine, Minnesota
Quieting a title can take time and lead to frustration and anxiety on the part of the buyer. Some title defects may be easy to fix, but others are not so easy. The Minnesota Title Standards require a review of title records stretching back four decades, so any number of issues may arise. If you’re seeking to purchase property in or around Blaine, Minnesota, contact me when a title dispute or defect jeopardizes your transaction. I will advise you of your options moving forward.