As simply defined by Investopedia, a title is a legal document “that shows legal ownership to a property.” If you are buying or selling residential or commercial real estate in North Carolina, it is crucial that you are familiar with the potential issues that can arise with the title. Here, our Monroe real estate attorneys highlight four of the most common title problems that arise in North Carolina.
1. A Break in the Chain of Title
With real property, title history should be comprehensive. In other words, you should be able to trace back ownership over time. A chain of title is a list of all of the transactions that occurred whereby ownership of the property was transferred to another party. When there is a break in the chain of title, there is a gap in the record. This could be the first warning sign of a deeper problem with the title of the property.
2. A Lien on the Property
In some cases, “debts” are attached to real property. If someone has a lien on a specific parcel of residential or commercial property it means that they have a security interest in that property. Even if the property is then sold to another party, that interest does not automatically go away. A title search helps to ensure that the title is clear and that there are no outstanding liens on the property.
3. Boundary Issues (And Unknown Easements)
Beyond ensuring that a seller actually owns a piece of property and that there are no active liens, a title search will also confirm the specific dimensions of real estate. In some cases, there can be issues with boundary lines. As an example, a search of the title may show that a person does not own quite as much property as they actually realize. Boundary line disputes can cause serious problems. A related issue is unknown easements. An easement is essentially a non-possessory property right. Another business, organization, property owner, or the general public may have a legal right to use private property for a certain purpose.
4. Errors in Public Records
Real property records are largely managed by state and local governments. For example, there are Union County Public Records that record a lot of critically important information about property deeds and property ownership. Unfortunately, there can sometimes be errors in public records. If you run into any problems with public records in North Carolina, an experienced Monroe real estate lawyer can help you find the best solution.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Monroe, NC Real Estate Lawyer
At Perry, Bundy, Plyler & Long, LLP, our North Carolina real estate attorneys are diligent, reliable advocates for both buyers and sellers. If you have any questions about title defects or title searches, we are here to help. Contact our legal team today to arrange your fully confidential consultation. From our Monroe law office, we provide real estate law representation throughout the region, including in Union County, Mecklenburg County, Anson County, and Stanly County.