Our Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg, Honesdale, Tunkhannock, Montrose and Milford real estate lawyers can help you in several ways if you have a real estate transaction or real estate problem. If you are purchasing a home or other property, you should first obtain a title search. If you are mortgaging the property, more than likely, your bank will require title insurance. A lawyer can obtain both for you.
The purpose of the title search is to determine the quality of the title you are purchasing. The title search should disclose any liens or encumbrances pending against the property. A title search will also disclose whether the individual from whom you are purchasing the property has a complete title for the property or whether the title has been fractionalized or some other defect has arisen concerning the title. It is important to know whether or not you are purchasing property with a good title. Without good title you are purchasing a lawsuit somewhere down the road. Although a title searcher at the courthouse may be able to perform the title search for you, you will still need a lawyer to render an opinion concerning the quality of the title as shown from the title search.
Title Insurance insures for you and your bank that the title you have obtained as of the date of closing is in fact good title. Unfortunately, there are certain title defects which may not appear from a search of the records of the courthouse. For example, the title search will not disclose a forged signature on a deed or a deed which may be invalid because it was signed by an incompetent or a minor. Title Insurance will guarantee your title against any type of unrecorded defect in the title. Many lawyers also serve as title insurance agents and can write the title insurance policy for you.
A lawyer will also attend the closing on your property and explain to you the various documents you are signing. Mortgage closings have become very complex. Gone are the days when you went to the bank, signed a very simple form mortgage and note and obtained your mortgage money. Nowadays, you may well sign over 20 documents in order to complete your mortgage. The mortgage document itself is no longer a simple form nor is the mortgage note. Your lawyer should explain to you the significance of the documents you are signing as well as explain the purpose for the documents and what rights the documents give both you and the bank in the event a dispute arises between you and the bank concerning your mortgage. (By and large no dispute should arise as long as you are able to make your monthly payments. However, in the event that you are unable to make your monthly payments when due, the rights retained and given away through the mortgage documents become very important.)
In addition to helping you with the purchase of property and with your mortgage closing, a lawyer may also aid in clearing up defects in your title. Defects may include a mortgage not satisfied of record, an heir who failed to sign a deed somewhere in the chain of title, an error in the boundary description for the property, etc. If any such defects exist on your title, it is important to clear them, since it will be very difficult to transfer the property should you so desire at some point in time in the future.
If you have any questions concerning real estate matters, contact Needle Law at (570) 344-1266.
Needle Law- Attorneys handling real estate matters for clients in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Stroudsburg, Honesdale, Tunkhannock, Montrose, Milford and all of Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming Counties.