Your new home may be new to you. But it’s not actually new. That home you’re buying has a long history. And just like anything else with a history, there’s a potential for some unwanted baggage.
Exactly what that baggage entails is exactly why a thorough title search is conducted during the closing process. The title search will reveal any defects on the title that might impact your purchase.
One of the most common title issues homebuyers in the Greater New Orleans area experience is an error in public records. But what exactly is this public records error?
To put it simply, it’s caused by human error.
Something as simple as a clerical or filing error can affect the deed, resulting in unexpected costs that you, the buyer, are responsible for.
That’s why during the title search one of the areas we focus on is potential errors in public records. During your title search, all documents associated with the home’s property are examined. This includes judgments, street and sewer assessments, special taxes and assessments, and any other documents that may have an impact on the title.
Example of an error in public records for New Orleans homebuyers
The hidden lien: There are times when a homeowner doesn’t pay his or her taxes or mortgage. In that case, the bank (or even the government) may place a lien on the home. That lien transfers to the new owner. That means unless the lien is uncovered during the title-search process, you as the buyer might be responsible for the bill—even though it’s not your debt.
Tips to avoid the effects of costly errors in public records
First, it’s important to note that as the buyer, there’s little you can do to minimize actual public record errors. These errors are out of your control and were done long before you became associated with the property.
However, an owner’s policy and title insurance is the most effective way to protect your ownership rights from errors and defects found in public records. This type of insurance can cover both the legal costs to defend your interests as well as certain losses sustained as a result of a covered title defect.
Contact our team to learn more about protecting yourself, and your new home, from public record errors.