Title Dispute Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
It’s no secret that housing prices continue to rise year after year, making it all the more important that you’re protecting your investment by thoroughly investigating titles and addressing any potential issues before they go too far.
According to reports put out by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Pittsburgh homebuyers are seeing average prices for new homes as high as $350,00 to $400,000, which is likely the largest purchase most people will ever make.
If you’re involved in a real estate sale and have a title dispute you need help dealing with, give me a call at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. I’m able to serve clients in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as well as throughout Allegheny County and all of the surrounding counties, including Butler, Westmoreland, Beaver, Armstrong, and Washington.
Reasons a Title Ends Up in Dispute (Quiet Title Lawsuits)
Title disputes (also called quiet title actions because you’re trying to “quiet” or remove a claim to the title) can arise for a number of reasons. Some reasons you may be able to prevent ahead of time, while others may come as a surprise. In either case, the best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a real estate attorney right away to ensure the issue is addressed quickly and completely. Some common title disputes include:
Public record error: Sometimes, problems occur simply due to keying in information incorrectly. Clerical errors like this can be simpler to fix, but can often go unnoticed.
Easement issue: If there are disputes about the easement with the surrounding neighbors, these will likely need to be addressed before a sale can go through.
Boundary dispute: Some boundaries may be disputed with neighbors or not be clearly defined.
Unknown liens: Even if the seller is unaware of any liens on the property, a title search may turn up unknown liens.
Unknown heirs: If the owner of a property dies before they can sell the house, it’s possible that an heir may step forward claiming their right to the property.
Illegal deed: Although rare, there are times when the property owner will forge an illegal deed.
How Disputes Are Resolved
Depending on the nature of your dispute, your attorney will help you determine the best way to resolve it. In general, you’ll have three options for clearing the title and getting it in the hands of the new owner:
A quitclaim deed: A quitclaim deed is often used to simplify the process of transferring ownership of one piece of real estate to another person. If it’s unclear what rights the current owner has, a quitclaim is an easy way to move forward with the transfer.
A release of lien/judgment: If there are currently liens on the property, you will want those addressed before transferring ownership. This is done through a lien release when the debt has been paid off in full and the lien holder is then required by law to lift the lien.
A deed of reconveyance: A deed of reconveyance is used when the borrower has paid off their mortgage in full and the lender then conveys (transfers) the title to the borrower.
This Process Takes Time
Real estate and title laws can be very complicated, and some title disputes may take time to resolve. Working with an experienced attorney can help speed this up, but there still may be extra steps you need to take, such as needing signatures from a co-owner that can’t be found. Whenever possible, you’ll want to reach out to a real estate lawyer at the beginning of your home search so you can catch these issues right away.
Title Dispute Attorney Serving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
If you’d like help resolving a title dispute for a commercial or residential real estate transaction, give me a call at Marc V. Taiani, Esquire and Allegheny Attorneys at Law, P.C. in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.