How a Forged Signature From 50 Years Ago Can Affect Your Home Ownership

Anybody who has ever purchased a home before will tell you that buying a home isn’t as simple as shopping for groceries or browsing the Groupon Coupons page for Alamo. Instead, they will tell you that it is a complicated task with many requirements, fees, forms, and approvals to complete before the process is over. They will also tell you, in this confusion, it can be easy to overlook important aspects, leaving them too late.

To help prevent this from happening to you, below is important information about Title Insurance, including why it exists and how it can provide you with financial protection over the title of your home.

Here is an example to consider.

Consider a scenario which involves the property you are considering being part of an inheritance settlement. However, this process occurs around 50 years ago, well before the owner you are purchasing it from even thought about the property.

During the process, it was noted that two siblings split the sale of the property in half. However, due to a lack of due diligence, one sibling forged the other’s signature and transferred the title into their own name, before quickly selling it to the current owner.

Of course, all of this was done without the knowledge of the other sibling, who, in all likelihood, isn’t’ aware of what they are entitled to. However, this doesn’t last long.

Continue imagining that, years later, you received a letter advising you that a claim had been made against the title of your home, with the intended result being the sale of your property with half of the profits being directed toward the missing sibling who has just discovered what they are entitled to.

While this might seem like a situation from nightmares, it is and can be a very real situation which can affect you if you aren’t careful.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The best and only way to fully protect yourself is with a thorough title insurance policy.

Starting with a title search, a trained title search agent will investigate the history of any title you are looking to purchase. This includes verifying previous signatures to ensure situations like the one above don’t’ happen.

If any inconsistencies or problems are discovered, these can be reported back to yourself to either discuss with the current owners to address or pass on the property.

Once any issues have been cleared, or none have been found, a one-time fee is paid for the provision of title insurance. This policy provides you with financial protection in the event that an undiscovered issue arises threatening the ownership of your home because of an unpaid debt or owned rights.

It’s important to remember that title insurance is only available prior to settlement, once the keys and check have exchanged hands, it’s too late to obtain this level of protection and you can be left on your own should the unfortunate event come.

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