On about half of the closings we perform, there is a need to clear up some kind of title issue. If a title is not cleared, the lender or buyer may decide not to close on the property.
Common problems include judgments, liens and bankruptcies that are discovered as we look back over 50 years of records. We may find surprise deeds, trusts, wills, divorce decrees, forged signatures, sometimes one spouse fraudulently signing the others’ name without their knowledge, inheriting without knowing that some long-lost relative also has a claim, court judgments and tax situations. There may be a fictitious name or an adopted name on the deed instead of the legal name that needs to be verified.
There can be errors in the legal description, especially regarding easements and rights of access that could require a property survey.
Often, though, these are issues that can be resolved with just a little bit of effort. Sometimes it is just an error in the records themselves.
One common example is a property tax lien that has been paid but not released. Even though the lien may have been fully paid, some municipalities such as the Fulton County, do not release a tax lien unless they are specifically requested to do so.
Closing attorneys may charge for this additional service to clear a title, although it only takes a couple of minutes to email to request the release be filed. Origin Title does not charge extra for such simple services.
Once the search is complete and all title problems have been resolved then the closing can take place as planned and the Owner’s and Lender’s Title Insurance policies can be issued to protect their respective interests.