Title insurance legal disputes can sometimes arise when title to a plot of land or real estate property is transferred from one person to another. Title insurance is often a major part of the transaction, since it provides protection for the major parties involved, such as the buyer, the seller, and loan or mortgage companies. For instance, title insurance may protect a buyer if the title has some defect or legal encumbrance.
Since many different parties are often involved in a real estate transaction, title insurance can lead to some types of legal disputes. These can vary in nature depending on the transaction, but they often involve certain legal issues that are related to the title.
Some common subjects of title insurance legal disputes include:
- Marketable title: Title insurance often focuses on ensuring that the title to the property is marketable. This means that there are no liens, debts, or other encumbrances that would make the property defective. Title insurance negotiations often revolve around the definition of "marketable title."
- Limitations of owner’s rights: States have different laws regarding the scope of the owner’s disclosures. Some states have a "buyer beware" rule that places the burden more on the buyer when it comes to finding defects. Again, these types of rules can affect the way the insurance policy is written.
- Named beneficiaries: There can sometimes be confusion as to which parties are actually covered by the insurance. For instance, if the transfer is being made as a gift or as a devise in a will, it can be difficult to tell which parties are affected by the transfer.
Lastly, a common legal issue related to title insurance is the issue of non-payment of benefits. In some cases, there may be dispute as to whether the insured party should be issued an insurance payment. In other cases, the dispute may involve the amount that should be paid. Recovering title insurance benefits can sometimes be a major point of dispute.
In order to prevent such legal disputes over title insurance, it is important that all terms be clearly negotiated and finalized into a written insurance contract.
Many title insurance legal disputes end up being litigated in a court of law due to their complexity. If you have any legal disputes, issues, or concerns involving title insurance, it’s in your best interest to hire a qualified real estate lawyer. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice, and can also represent you if you need to make an appearance in court. An experienced attorney can also lend their advice during home sales and insurance negotiations.