Beebe and O'Neil

What happens if someone brings a title claim against your house?

Whether you have lived in your current home for two years or 20 years, you have likely developed an emotional attachment to the property. As you have grown accustomed to living in the space and made it your own, it has become your home, not just another house. In addition to enjoying the space, you have made substantial investments in its purchase and ongoing maintenance.

Most people who worry about complications in real estate deals focus on the potential for last-minute issues that could prevent a successful closing or delay possession. Once they assume possession, they think of the home as their home. For the average person, that may be the case, but some people find themselves at risk of losing their home long after they take possession of the property.

If someone has a credible title claim, they may initiate legal proceedings to assume possession of the property. People who have lived in their house for many years could find themselves headed to court to defend their right to stay at their house.

Many circumstances can give rise to title claims

Issues with a title can result from a variety of legal and family situations. A home that is part of a complex estate where not all the beneficiaries received adequate notice of the sale could be subject to legal action in the future. Sometimes, property improperly disposed of as part of a divorce can later become subject to a claim.

Other potential causes for future title issues could include inaccurate public records that don't reflect current ownership, unrecorded debts secured by the property and fraud. Regardless of why someone believes they have the legal right to assume ownership of your house, proactive steps to protect your home and your interest in it are necessary.

Title insurance may cover your legal costs

Most people look at title insurance as a questionable expense when purchasing a home. Title fees can represent several thousand dollars, which inspired some people to bypass a buyer's title insurance during a purchase. These new homeowners may think that since there is already a lender's policy in place, a buyer's policy is unnecessary.

However, a lender's policy protects a company's financial investments in the home, which does nothing for you as the buyer and tenant. A buyer's title policy protects your investment in your new home including your down payment, your equity and any improvements you have made to the property.

A title insurance policy will cover your legal costs to go to court and will also protect you if you lose the title case and have to find a new home to purchase. However, even if you purchased a home without proper title insurance, it is still possible to fight against title claims with the help of an experienced Connecticut real estate attorney.

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Beebe & O'Neil
PO Box 6002
335 Washington Street
Norwich, CT 06360

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