The Weaver Law Firm assists title companies and represents landowners when dealing with chain of title disputes. What is a chain of title? Chain of title comprises of complete ownership history of the property and should reflect continuous ownership to ensure that the property will be free to transfer to another landowner. A chain of title search aims to ensure that the seller of the real property has good title.
Although there are additional documents that may demonstrate ownership, such as a deed or title, the chain of title becomes crucial when a dispute over ownership occurs. In real estate, the chain of title is a set of rights for a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal or equitable interest.
Where do you find your chain of title? When you purchase property, a title company prepares a title search, during which the chain of title is researched. The search usually starts in the county office where the property records are located, using various documents linked to the property to verify the chain of title. These searches are performed electronically and often times manually, search through the physical paper or microfilm files of county records.
This process aids in verifying ownership and identifying liens to ensure a smooth transition of ownership. The title search performed by title companies can also locate judgments and tax liens that need to be resolved. Knowing about the existence of liens and legal claims pertaining to the real property are crucial for a closing. Chain of title issues are important to mortgage lenders and potential buyers when interested in lending or purchasing real property.
The title company should determine the foreclosure history associated with the property. After completing the search, the title company typically issues a preliminary title report in which all recordings corresponding with the property are listed.
How do you know if your chain of title is clean? Ideally, your title company would establish the suitability of the title before closing on a property. However, claim disputes against your property could occur at any given moment, so you want to prevent potential loss as a result of missed claims by consulting an expert. In addition, acquiring title insurance may be able to prevent you from additional court fees resulting from the claim.
If you are a landowner seeking counsel regarding a chain of title dispute, the Weaver Law Firm may provide assistance through experienced real estate attorneys. If you are a title company, our professionals are here to help clear title issues so that you can close. We invite you to call us at 713-572-4900 if you would like personalized legal services.