Title search and examination (sometimes called an “Ownership and Encumberance Search”) comprises a detailed examination of the historical records concerning the property. These include deeds, civil and probate court records, and tax records. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership and to discover any claims, errors, assessments, debts, or other burdens or restrictions on the property. Some examples of claims on titles are below:
- Insufficient Deed:The form and/or content of a deed are insufficient to actually convey the property. This may result in the conveyance being nullified.
- Marriage: A single person is selling or mortgaging property, but the title search reveals there are two persons on the deed and it says they are married.
- Death: The children of a widowed woman, who is now deceased, mortgaged the property, but the title search reveals there is no recorded will or deed from the descendant's estate to these children.
- Monetary liens: A man who had purchased the property before marriage thereafter mortgaged the property. He then gets married. Florida recognizes a spouse's interest in this property if it is classified as homestead property.
- Mechanic's lien: An owner fails to pay the contractor who built the pool in the backyard. This contractor can place a lien on the property for his/her unpaid labor.
- Tax liens: The owner failed to pay his/her taxes and a certificate was sold in the amount of the unpaid taxes.
A thorough and properly executed Title Search and Examination coupled with Title Insurance allows for peace of mind in the knowledge that legal deficiencies will not leave you in a poor financial situation. Contact one of the highly trained attorneys at Heekin Law for more information at (904) 998-9733.