December 13, 2022

10 Common Title Issues When Closing on a Home in Utah

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Have you recently closed on a home or are in the process of doing so? Even though the home may be new to you, you should be aware that it still has a history. Title issues are very common, which is why it is so important to conduct a title search on the property and get insured beforehand.

Read below to find out some of the most common title issues so that you can be informed and catch any red flags before it’s too late.

Common Title Problems:

1. Boundary Disputes

This can happen when a property owner violates the rights of their neighbor by building on land that isn’t rightfully theirs. It could mean that property lines aren’t clearly drawn so you have to figure out who owns what.

2. Lien on the Property

Even if there is a new owner, a bank can still potentially put a lien on a property if the previous owners had unpaid debt. This is most common with distressed properties because if the owners failed to take care of their house, it is more likely that they also didn’t pay their bills.

3. Unknown Heirs/Undiscovered Will

A home could have a previous property owner that drafted a will listing rightful heirs. If they have passed away before telling their heirs, this could lead to trouble later down the road. When the heirs find out about their inheritance, they may come knocking on your door and be shocked to find that someone else is living in the house.

4. Public Record Errors

This occurs due to filing errors, incomplete documentation, or negligence. Mistakes happen, but that doesn’t mean that you want to be the one paying for it. Title insurance is so crucial to have in this case to help protect your ownership rights from errors and public record defects.

5. Bankruptcy from a Previous Owner

If a previous owner of the house has filed for bankruptcy, it can cause problems for a future owner. The closing process can take a long time because you will most likely need to petition the court and have the home released for sale.

6. Illegal Deeds

If someone had an illegal deed in the past, it could still affect present owners. This happens when a prior deed was made by a minor, an illegal immigrant, someone who lied about their marital status, or someone who was mentally unstable.

7. Forgeries

Sadly, not everyone in this world is honest and can forge or create documents that are filed within public records. If these are discovered later on, the right to your home ownership could be on the line.

8. Unknown Easements

Even if you own your home and the land surrounding it, an unknown easement could create restrictions on the way that you use it. It could also allow certain businesses or government agencies to access parts of your property.

9. Undiscovered Encumbrances

A third party could show up and say that they hold a claim to some or all of your property. This could be due to a former mortgage or lien or also restrictions that limit the use of your property.

10. False Impersonations by a Previous Owner

Common or similar names could be used to impersonate the actual owner of a home. If a false owner sells their home to you, the title to the property could fall through and you can risk losing your legal rights.

Work with a Trusted Professional

There are many title issues that can be unleashed when closing on a home. It can be stressful and you may be overwhelmed with what to do next. 

The best thing to do to protect yourself and your rights is to work with a trusted professional who has your best interest. They can help you get title insurance and do a thorough title search on the property.

If you are looking to get a second opinion on whether or not you should close on a home, contact Enlight Homebuyers today at 801-939-0123. We are trusted cash home buyers in Utah and would love to help you out!

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