Despite a diligent search of public record, it’s still possible for a title insurance claim to arise suddenly after you’ve purchased your home.
Often times, claims are rooted in false or misleading information, making them difficult to detect until months — even years — after the book is closed on your real estate investment. We’ve outlined a few scenarios that could result in a title insurance claim:
The refined forger
The Carters were charmed by the elderly lady. Impeccably mannered, she explained that her country place had been vacant for some time, so she was letting it go at an irresistible price. The Carters leapt at the offer, only to find out later that they were victims of a classic forgery caper.
More cunning than charming, the old woman learned that the real owners of the country home were living in Europe. She forged a deed to the property and had it recorded in her own name. Her low asking price assured a quick sale. By the time the Carters where made aware of the scam, the little old lady was gone.
John’s other wife
John and Maxine were an ideal couple: pleasant, personable and respected among peers. They made quite an impression on Mr. and Mrs. Denton, who purchased their home. The Dentons were less then impressed, however, when they heard from John’s real wife.
It seems that Maxine wasn’t John’s real wife which meant that the deed of ownership she signed was invalid. The Denton’s did eventually meet John legitimate wife in a court of law when she claimed her legal right to the property.
The walking corpse
The homeowner was a widow with seven sons. One of her offspring, the captain of a fishing vessel, has not been heard from for many years. Presumed lost at sea, he was declared legally dead.
When the widow passed away, her six remaining sons inherited and sold her home. The new homeowners were delighted with their new home until the long lost sea captain returned from the dead. The missing son who had decided to start a new life elsewhere, returned home to find the house had been sold. He promptly filed a claim against the new homeowner for his rightful share of the property.
News travels slowly
A lady of means placed her home in the country up for sale. Before embarking on a cruise, she gave her lawyer power of attorney on the property. Weeks later, the Harper family decided to buy the country place. Its fertile land and picturesque setting were ideal for farming. Exercising his authority, the attorney signed the deed and sold the property to the Harpers.
Everything appeared proper except for one hitch: the woman died in a distant part of the world before the attorney signed over the property. When the lady’s heirs discovered that they land had been sold after her death, they claimed they deed was invalid and the demanded the right to their property.