“I have some bad news. It appears that someone else has a claim to your home.” No wonder you got it so cheap. It turns out the nice old lady you bought the house from was a gambling fiend. You knew she loved her weekly trip to the bingo hall, but the news that she used the property as collateral against gambling debts accrued in Las Vegas comes as a shock.
Title defects occur when someone else has a claim on your property. While you should always carry out a title check before purchasing a house, errors can occur, and things can be missed. These are some common types of title defect:
- Liens: Someone has a right to the property due to the unpaid debts of a previous owner.
- Inheritance claims: The child of a secret affair, or an estranged son or daughter, has only recently come forward
- Forged deeds: One of the previous owners falsified their title.
- Invalid deeds: A spouse failed to sign the paperwork, or someone was underage when they signed a deed.
- Incorrectly recorded deeds: If a clerk wrote the wrong name on the document or submitted it incorrectly, the title may have been improperly registered or not registered at all.
If you find your Philadelphia property has title defects, stay calm, there are ways to resolve these things. If you have title insurance, contact your insurance company. You should also contact a real estate attorney as you will need legal help to investigate and settle the dispute.