So Glad We Had Title Insurance

by Mary Sue Solley, ILTA Communications Committee

The year was 1980 and I was a newlywed. We were able to purchase our first home (condo). It was the last unit available from the builder and we knew the value had to go up after that. Needless to say we were very excited.

We moved in, decorated, bought furniture and began enjoying our 2 bedroom masterpiece. After 6 months, our neighbors asked us if we would be interested in selling. They had an elderly Mother and would like her to live in our unit, which was directly under them. The offer was $30,000 more then we paid for it (not a bad investment) so we agreed to sell.

Our attorney received our search/title commitment back and informed me that there was a mechanics lien on title. (The lien was from a contractor(s) that the builder did not pay) – UGH, now what???

(Are most people even aware that when a mechanics lien is recorded on property that it could be foreclosed on? Probably not – another reason to seek out a title professional.)

Fortunately for us we did have an owner’s policy from when we purchased. Our attorney got in touch with the claim department at the title company and they resolved the issue quickly (I am assuming they paid the lien off). If we did not have an owner’s policy, either we would not have been able to sell or we would have had to borrow money to pay off that lien.

So speaking from experience I can tell you I would never buy any property without having an owner’s policy to prevent any claim or issues arising in the title. Whether through fraud, sheer error or incompetence important factors can be missed during a real estate transaction. This one time purchase of owners title insurance will protect you as long as you own your home.