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50+ Ways to Lose Your Property.

Why Title Search & Insurance Are So Critical?

Title search in combination with owner’s (title) insurance policy protects you against potential defects such as:

    1. Deed from purported trustee, unauthorized under trust agreement
    2. Deed to or from a “corporation” before incorporation, or after loss of corporate charter
    3. Deed from a legal nonentity (styled, for example, as a church, charity, or club)
    4. Deed by person in a foreign country, vulnerable to challenge as incompetent, unauthorized, or defective under foreign laws
    5. Claims resulting from use of “alias” or fictitious name style by a predecessor in title
    6. Deed challenged as being given under fraud, undue influence, or duress
    7. Deed following nonjudicial foreclosure, where required procedure was not followed
    8. Deed affecting land in judicial proceedings (bankruptcy, receivership, probate, conservatorship, dissolution of marriage) unauthorized by court
    9. Deed following judicial proceedings subject to appeal or further court order
    10. Deed following judicial proceedings where all necessary parties were not joined
    11. Lack of jurisdiction over persons or property in judicial proceedings
    12. Deed signed by mistake (grantor did not know what was signed)
    13. Deed executed under falsified power of attorney
    14. Deed executed under expired power of attorney (death, disability, or insanity of principal)
    15. Deed apparently valid, but actually delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without consent of grantor
    16. Deed affecting property purported to be separate property of grantor, which is in fact community or jointly owned property
    17. Undisclosed divorce of one who conveys as sole heir of a deceased former spouse
    18. Deed affecting property of deceased person, not joining all heirs
    19. Deed following administration of estate of missing person who later reappears
    20. Conveyance by heir or survivor of a joint estate who murdered the decedent
    21. Conveyances and proceedings affecting the rights of service member protected by the Service-Members Civil Relief Act
    22. Conveyance void as in violation of public policy (payment of gambling debt, payment for contract to commit crime, or conveyance made in restraint of trade)
    23. Deed to land including “wetlands” subject to public trust (vesting title in government to protect public interest in navigation, commerce, fishing, and recreation)
    24. Deed from government entity, vulnerable to challenge as unauthorized or unlawful
    25. Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to acquisition of note by bona-fide purchaser (without notice of satisfaction)
    26. Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to bankruptcy of creditor prior to recording of release (avoiding powers in bankruptcy)
    27. Ineffective release of prior mortgage or lien, as fraudulently obtained by predecessor in title
    28. Disputed release of prior mortgage or lien, as given under mistake or misunderstanding
    29. Ineffective subordination agreement causing junior interest to be reinstated to priority
    30. Deed recorded but not properly indexed so as to be locatable in the land records
    31. Undisclosed but recorded federal or state tax lien
    32. Undisclosed but recorded judgment or spousal/child support lien
    33. Undisclosed but recorded prior mortgage
    34. Undisclosed but recorded notice of pending lawsuit affecting land
    35. Undisclosed but recorded environmental lien
    36. Undisclosed but recorded option, or right of first refusal, to purchase property
    37. Undisclosed but recorded covenants or restrictions, with (or without) rights of reverter
    38. Undisclosed but recorded easements (for access, utilities, drainage, airspace, views) benefiting neighboring land
    39. Undisclosed but recorded boundary, party wall, or setback agreements
    40. Errors in tax record (mailing tax bill to wrong party resulting in tax sale, or crediting payment to wrong property)
    41. Erroneous release of tax or assessment liens, which are later reinstated to the tax rolls
    42. Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials (not binding local government
    43. Special assessments which become liens upon passage of a law or ordinance, but before recorded notice or commencement of improvements of which assessment is made
    44. Adverse claim of vendor’s lien
    45. Adverse claim of equitable lien
    46. Ambiguous covenants or restrictions in ancient documents
    47. Misinterpretation of wills, deeds, and other instruments
    48. Discovery of will of supposed intestate individual, after probate
    49. Discovery of later will after probate of first will
    50. Erroneous or inadequate legal description
    51. Deed to land without a right of access to a public street or road
    52. Deed to land with legal access subject to undisclosed but recorded conditions or restrictions
    53. Right of access wiped out by foreclosure on neighboring land
    54. Patent defects in recorded instruments (for example, failure to attach notarial acknowledgment or a legal description)
    55. Defective acknowledgment due to lack of authority of notary (acknowledgment taken before commission or after expiration of commission)
    56. Forged notarization or witness acknowledgment
    57. Deed not properly recorded (wrong county, missing pages or other contents, or without required payment)
    58. Deed from grantor who is claimed to have acquired title through fraud upon creditors of a prior owner

Also, an extended coverage may be requested to protect against such additional issues as:

  • Deed to a purchaser from one who has previously sold or leased the same land to a third party under an unrecorded contract, where the third party is in possession of the premises

  • Claimed prescriptive rights, not of record and not disclosed by survey

  • Physical location of easement (underground pipe or sewer line) which does not conform with easement of record

  • Deed to land with improvements encroaching upon land of another

  • Incorrect survey (misstating location, dimensions, area easements, or improvements upon land)

  • “Mechanics’ lien” claims (securing payment of contractors and material suppliers for improvements) which may attach without recorded notice

  • Federal estate or state inheritance tax liens (may attach without recorded notice)

  • Preexisting violation of subdivision mapping laws*

  • Preexisting violation of zoning ordinances*

  • Preexisting violation of conditions, covenants, and restrictions affecting the land*

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