Profile picture for user5340081

Trying to fix title defects: previous owner's mortgage discharges not recorded

I'm in the process of selling my home but the title is found to be clouded because the previous owner's mortgage discharges (three of them!) were not recorded. One of them was from when I bought the property 8 years ago, the closing attorney failed to record the discharge from the seller's lender. The other two were from the seller's previously closed mortgages, again the closing attorney failed to find such existing defects or misplaced the proof of payoff/discharge.

I have reached out to the closing attorney, who is looking for the right documents now, but there is no guarantee that he will find all three missing discharges.

So now I wonder what else I can do to fix these defects? Can I go after that closing attorney for any loss/cost in fixing the title? Any advice would be highly appreciated.
  • July 12 2013 - Boston
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Answers (3)

Profile picture for shapiroamg
Call your title insurer (assuming you took an owners policy when you purchased).
  • July 18 2013
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Profile picture for user5340081
Thank you Michael!

Could you be more specific about the remedy mentioned at the end of your reply? Is it "quiet title" or other options?

  • July 14 2013
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At the time of purchase, did you also buy an owners title policy? If so, the title insurer would be responsible for the attorney costs. Otherwise you would be on the hook. Whether you could collect from the attorney is up to the courts.

If the attorney can't find the needed documents, you will probably need to file a quiet title action to lift the clouds on title. But hopefully that step won't be necessary.

And this is a too common problem from past closings. For whatever reason, I've been involved in multiple transactions where lien releases were not properly recorded. Unfortunately they seem to come up just weeks before closing dates. Fortunately there is often a remedy for the problem.
  • July 12 2013
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