Whether you are selling or buying a home, the last thing you want to encounter are problems with the property title. Unfortunately, the foreclosure crisis that hit Arizona so hard several years ago sometimes makes it difficult to obtain a clear or marketable title to the property. That is why you should seek the help of an experienced Arizona real estate attorney to help with any potential title issues.
Here are some of the most common title problems:
- The deed still has the name of the owner’s ex-spouse on it.
- There is a claim on the home due to a divorce settlement or final judgment.
- There is a claim for unpaid taxes against the former owner.
- The property has a lien filed on it by a company that has not been paid for work done on the property.
- The former owners granted easements that are not recorded in the land records.
- The deed is invalid because of the death of a former owner.
- Another party claims ownership in the chain of title.
You should be especially concerned if the property has a foreclosure in its history. The incidence of foreclosure fraud in Arizona has been well documented, clouding the titles of thousands of homes.
As a buyer, you should be aware that if you are borrowing money for the purchase of the home, no bank will provide a loan without a title search being done by a real estate attorney or title company.
In the course of a title search, your attorney will dig into everything that is available about the property at issue within the public records of the municipality or county whose jurisdiction the land falls under. This includes recorded instruments, mortgages, liens, deeds, tax records, and court cases—all going back about 50 years. The goal of this in-depth process is to find a definitive chain of ownership. Furthermore, your attorney will examine everything that happened with or to the property throughout the duration of each prior owner’s period of ownership.
If you’re looking to invest in real estate in Arizona, Provident Law’s real estate attorneys stand ready to help. We structure, negotiate and document a variety of real estate and financing transactions, such as leases, purchase and sale agreements, loans, and development agreements for a variety of commercial and residential projects, and we ensure title passes from one owner to another. Contact us for more details.