Title Problems and Defects

Every time a property is sold some type of deed is required to transfer title. Deeds can contain improper information or there can be breaks in the chain of title that makes a transfer invalid. Typically title insurance is purchased for a sale and the title company researches title to make sure that it is correct and to advise of any problems with the title (such as an easement, mortgage, or lien that attaches to the property before the sale that does not go away with the sale). Most of the time any defects that are not disclosed on the title insurance commitment will be covered by the title insurer, but other defects may not be part of the insurance and require negotiation or litigation to clear up. In order to put the public on notice of the sale of property, deeds or interests in property are recorded with the Register of Deeds. On occasion multiple deeds will be given for the same property. Michigan is a race-notice state for determining which deed controls ownership. That means generally that the first deed actually recorded (regardless of the date on the deed) is deemed the valid deed. However, if the later deed is recorded first but had actual notice of the earlier deed, the earlier deed will be valid. It is often difficult to show actual notice of a prior deed and litigation is common in those cases.

Contact Us