When you purchase a home in Wisconsin, you may think the house is yours as soon as you and the seller agree on a price. However, in order for you to become the legal owner of the house, the title has to be clear. We at Lein Law Offices know there may sometimes be a defect with a house's title and that people may need help clearing up these issues.
There are many reasons a home might have a title problem. According to the Washington Post, there may be a lien on the property, and someone generally has to pay this debt before transferring ownership of the house. This lien might be a contractor's lien if the previous owners had work done on the house. However, this lien might also be in the form of child or spousal support. A house might also have a lien on it if the previous owner was behind on his or her taxes. Additionally, bankruptcy can cause a problem with a house's title. If the previous owner filed for bankruptcy, a court typically has to remove the property from the case so that the title can transfer to you.
You may think that sellers would clear up these problems before listing the house. However, some people may not realize there is a defect with the title. A person who inherits a house, for example, may not know about a contractor's lien. One title company says that buyers encounter title defects in about one-third of real estate transactions, and while some of these problems clear up easily, others take more time to resolve. Sometimes you may not learn about title issues if they are relatively minor. In other situations, you may need to sign paperwork to eliminate the lien.
Most of the time, thorough research can help determine if there is an issue with a home's title. Someone usually looks at the ownership history of a house to make sure the title has passed smoothly during previous transactions. This search generally also reveals any liens on the house. You can find more information about this subject on our webpage.