Title issues in Pennsylvania occur often and they can derail a real estate transaction in a matter of minutes. All the hard work and research you put into finding a new home for your family or for selling your home will go by the wayside without legal assistance. The team at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano understands the various types of title issues that can affect the closing of your real estate transaction. Our team will work together to secure a suitable resolution to your problem without reaching the litigation stage. Should litigation be the only route, we will represent you in court.
Common Title Issues in Pennsylvania
Although your home is new to you, it has a history that you don’t know about. As the title is passed from owner to owner, a chain is created. And if there is one chink in that chain, such as errors in documents or name omissions, it can lead to issues during closing. This can be a major headache that could lengthen the sales process.
The most common title issues our NEPA team handles include the following:
- Illegal deeds: When someone who is not permitted to make legal decisions, such as a minor, an undocumented immigrant, or someone of unsound mind, the deed is illegal and can affect the enforceability of current and prior deeds.
- Public records errors: It’s quite possible that someone who recorded your deed at the county level made a mistake when doing so. A clerical error with the title or deed of your home can become a costly error as you try to resolve the problem.
- Unknown liens: The prior owners of your home might not have paid their bills on time or at all. When this happens, creditors can place liens on the property. It’s possible that once the home is turned over to you, creditors start contacting you.
- Forged documents: It’s not uncommon for you to come across documents that have been forged. A title or deed could be signed illegally by someone who is pretending to be someone else. Once this is recorded with the county clerk, it is part of the record.
- Missing heirs: You might have purchased the property from someone who died not long after the transaction was completed. It’s possible that the property was left to a family member of the deceased in their will. This may mean someone who has a claim on the property could step forward and prevent the sale from going through.
- Unknown easements: It’s also possible for you to own the property and the land around it, but be unable to use it for what you would like to because of unknown easements. Government agencies or other entities might also be allowed to access your property because of these easements.
How Title Issues of a House Can Hurt Your Sale
The usual process for transferring a title can take about two weeks; but if an issue arises, this can take much longer to complete. First, a title professional will do a thorough search and examination of the title such as examining the public records to determine who owns the property as well as search for any liens, levies, or other legal issues with the home. If errors are found during the search, only a costly solution may be the key to getting the issue resolved. For example, if there is a lien on the home, the agent must work with the lien holder to get a statement of payment or arrange a way to pay off the lien. That may mean more money will be coming out of your pocket.
Any title errors can prevent a closing from going through and could lead to a courtroom battle. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced real estate lawyer from Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano. Our attorneys will help resolve any title problems that are found quickly. Working with our title company, Keystone Abstract Services, we can make sure all issues are resolved and you receive title insurance needed to move the sales process forward.
Pennsylvania Title Insurance Endorsement 300
When you walk through the property on the morning of the settlement, you may be excited to have this new start. Until the neighbor comes outside to let you know the house you are about to purchase is encroaching on hers. What should you do?
Under Pennsylvania Title Insurance Endorsement 300, the endorsement insures without exception for anything discoverable by a land survey and insures against loss or damage by reason of encroachment, whether by the building on the mortgaged premises encroaching upon adjacent property or by any building on adjacent property encroaching on the mortgaged premises.
Homeowners also have the option to utilize Endorsement 301, an owner’s policy that offers the same coverage to an owner or lessee as Endorsement 300 offers to a mortgagee.
If you have concerns about property encroachment, first contact a real estate attorney, then set up an appointment to have the land surveyed and begin the procedure for the Pennsylvania Title Insurance Endorsement 300 or 301.
Contact Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano for Legal Assistance
Since 1962, the Scranton title dispute attorneys at Mazzoni Karam Petorak & Valvano have been representing clients with their real estate issues throughout the Northeastern Pennsylvania region. With an impressive track record and years of experience, our team knows real estate law from top to bottom in Pennsylvania. If you are dealing with title issues during a home closing, we can help. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.