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What can I do about a defective title?

Purchasing property is no small transaction. Whether you are buying a home or space to operate your business, there will likely be hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, as well as your future as a home or business owner.

This is why it can be so upsetting to learn that there is a title defect. A title defect is something that prevents someone from taking full and legal ownership of a property. Below, we examine some types of title defects as well as what you can do to clear them.

Lack of sole ownership

If there are other parties who hold a claim on the property you wish you purchase, then this could affect your rights as a property owner. This can happen when an heir to the property is unknown or missing, or when a person sells a property without the permission of a co-owner.

Encumbrances

An encumbrance exists when a non-owner has a claim against the property. This can include the holder of an easement or lien, which prevents a new owner from taking full control over the property.

Issues with the deed

Filing errors, forgery, illegal deeds and even typographical errors in a deed can affect a title and call into question past ownership as well as present and future ownership rights.

What to do about defects

If you have concerns regarding title defects, then you can work with an attorney to address and clear them. The options for doing with will depend on the type of defect involved. You might secure a quiet title action or simply clear up any confusion with research and documentation. For more complicated cases, you could wind up in arbitration or litigation to resolve a dispute over ownership.

Under any of these circumstances, legal guidance will be crucial. An attorney familiar with Wisconsin real estate laws and procedures can help you identify and resolve any title defects that jeopardize your right as a property owner.

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