Correcting Title Issues — Ocala Real Estate Attorneys
Whenever you purchase real estate, you are making a significant investment, regardless of whether the property is a new home, commercial property, rental property, or a vacation home. One of the most important steps that you must take when purchasing property is to retain an experienced Ocala real estate lawyer to conduct a title examination. A title examination ensures that the owner has clear, marketable title to transfer to you. In addition, the title examination ensures that there are no title defects or clouds in the chain of title.
Our Ocala real estate attorneys can perform a comprehensive title examination to identify any potential problems. We can also work on title defects to clear up issues that prevent you from owning the property free and clear of any clouds on the title. Call (888) 316-2131 now to discuss your real estate purchase with an Ocala real estate attorney.
Common Title Defects Associated with Property in Central Florida
A title examination involves researching the chain of title to identify any defects or problems that prevent an owner from enjoying possession and use of the property free and clear of any adverse interests. Some of the common issues that we discover during an Ocala title examination include:
• Unpaid Property Taxes — Property taxes should be current before the property is sold. If the property taxes are owed for previous years, the seller should be responsible for the payment of all back taxes before or at the real estate closing. The property taxes for the current year are usually pro-rated between the buyer and the seller.
• Mortgages, Liens, and Other Encumbrances — It is typical for the current owner to have at least one mortgage secured by the property. That lien is paid in full through the closing, and the mortgage is satisfied. However, there are instances in which an owner may have other liens against the property, including tax liens, mechanic's liens, Homeowner's Association liens, etc. Those liens should be paid and canceled through closing. In a few cases, we might find unsatisfied liens or mortgages from a previous owner. Before closing, we must locate the lienholder to determine if the debt was paid in full. If so, the lienholder can satisfy or cancel the lien. However, in a few cases, a quiet title action may be required to correct the problem.
• Boundary Problems or Survey Issues — Even though previous owners may have recorded a survey of the property, it is usually a wise choice to have the property surveyed again. A survey can reveal boundary issues, encroachments, easements, and rights-of-ways. These problems could cloud the title and make it difficult for you to sell or mortgage the property.
• Open Probate Cases or Missing Heirs — A probate case that remains open can be an issue because creditors of the estate or heirs could claim an interest in the property. Likewise, if all heirs of a deceased owner did not execute a deed or release their interest in the property, the current owner may not have clear title to the real estate.
• Errors on a Deed Misspellings and other simple errors on a deed may be corrected by recording a corrective deed. However, if the error involves the property description or the previous owner has died, it could take longer to resolve the issue to clear title to the real estate.
The above problems are not the only issues that can arise during a title search of Ocala real estate. It is very important to retain the services of an experienced Ocala real estate attorney who understands the procedure for researching title to real estate and Florida real estate laws. You do not want to make a large investment in a piece of real estate to find out later that you do not own clear title to the property.
Title Insurance Policies
In most cases, if you are purchasing a piece of real estate with a loan, the lender requires a title insurance policy. The title insurance policy protects the lienholder's interest in the property by ensuring the lienholder against defects. Before a title insurance agent can issue a policy, a title search is performed to make sure there are no defects or clouds on the title. In most cases, the title insurance policy may take exception to certain easements or rights-of-ways. However, serious title problems will not be insured by the company or accepted by the lender.
In addition to the lender's policy, you may want to consider purchasing an owner's title insurance policy. The owner's title insurance policy provides you with insurance against title defects if the defect prevents you from selling the property or results in losses.
Call Our Ocala Real Estate Attorney to Discuss Title Defects
If you are purchasing property, call (888) 316-2131 to discuss how you can protect your investment by hiring an Ocala real estate lawyer to perform a title examination.