What a Bad Title on Your Property Means & How to Fix It

Posted: June 22, 2018 2:32 pm


Looking to sell property in or around Erie, PA anytime soon? Think that your title is clear and it will be a piece of cake? Sometimes a property title can have breaks in the chain of property transfers or clouds on the title, such as a mortgage that shows as having not been paid, easement or encroachment claims, incorrectly prepared deeds, heirs that never released interest in inherited property, and clerical errors. Depending on the situation, the detrimental effects can be daunting and quite costly – in more ways than one. Hiring a real estate attorney is your best option.

While there are several various conditions, a title with a cloud is considered to be a title with a flaw. This flaw can be something as simple as a misspelling of a property’s address or it can mean something as serious as the failure to officially document a mortgage lien. Although title companies will sometimes insure ownership of a property encumbered with a cloud, they will refuse to insure the transfer of any title with a cloud.

The mortgage company is obligated to report satisfied liens to the local record office when a mortgage has been paid in full but if they fail to do so and you attempt to sell the property, the official documentation search on the property will show that the property is still under a mortgage. This error can result in unwanted delays and out of pocket expense for you and must be resolved as quickly as possible.


Quiet Title Action

You may also be required to file a ‘quiet title action’ which is a lawsuit to remove a cloud and establish the ownership of land and buildings that are affixed to it. In a quiet title action the plaintiff seeks a court order that prevents the respondent from making any future claim to the property. It is not always easy to determine who has title to the property because real estate sometimes changes hands often, making quiet title actions necessary.

The law on quiet title actions varies from state to state and can be quite confusing and time consuming. Some states have quiet title statutes while other states allow courts to fashion most of the laws regarding them. In some a plaintiff must be in possession of the property in order to bring a quiet title action, yet many states don’t require possession. And in some places only the legal title holder of the property may file the action and in others any individual or entity showing sufficient interest in the property may bring a quiet title action.


Avoid the Hassle

The delay in selling a property or clearing a title can result in untold expense for you. Not to mention the associated headache of trying to straighten it all out – or even encountering the worse case scenario of not being able to sell the property at all. Having a real estate attorney manage your property title transfers and purchases will not only ease possible frustrations with a bad title, it can save you quite a bit of money as well as get the process completed much more quickly and efficiently.

Don’t take a chance on a simple mistake ruining your otherwise perfect plans. Contact us today and let us take care of all of your bad title corrections and transfer needs.