Title Information > Title Basics > 50 Ways To Lose Title

The World  Can Be a Complicated Place

More Than 50 Ways Owner’s Title Insurance Protects Your Homeownership Rights

Like homeowner’s or flood insurance, title insurance protects the home you love. However, unlike casualty insurance that covers events that may happen in the future, title insurance protects your homeownership rights from events that happened in the past. Hidden “title defects” could cause you to lose ownership of your home or impair your right to sell it. A 50-year-old forgery, a stolen identity, an error by a clerk in the county recorder’s office, a tax payment applied to the wrong account – these are examples of defects* a title search may not uncover. Owner’s Title Insurance will protect you by covering losses and defending your property rights in court.

While your mortgage lender requires you to purchase Lender’s Title Insurance to protect its investment in your mortgage, your interests as the owner are not protected by that policy.

Check out our list of potential title defects that Owner’s Title Insurance issued by North American Title will cover – for as long as you or your heirs own your home. Ask us about an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy today.
  1. Forged original deeds, mortgages, satisfactions or releases
  2. Deed by minor that may be disclaimed
  3. Deed by person who is insane or mentally incompetent
  4. Deed forged by family member without the knowledge of owner
  5. Deed signed by mistake, where the grantor did not know what they signed
  1. Deed executed under falsified or expired power of attorney, covering disability or insanity of principal
  2. Deed said to be given under fraud, undue influence or duress
  3. Deed is valid though provided without consent of co-owner
  4. Deed purportedly valid, but actually delivered after the death of grantor/grantee or without consent of grantor
  5. Deed from corporation or partnership that is unauthorized under corporate bylaws or partnership agreement or given under a false corporate resolution
  6. Deed from a purported corporation that has lost its corporate charter
  7. Deed from trustee that is not authorized under trust agreement
  8. Deed from a church, charity or club that is a legal nonentity
  9. Deed from a government entity that may be challenged as unauthorized or unlawful
  10. Deed by a person in a foreign country, where the person can be challenged according to that country’s laws as incompetent, unauthorized or lacking required authority
  11. Claims regarding a person in the chain of title that used an alias or fictitious name
  12. Deed following non-judicial foreclosure, where required procedure was not followed
  13. Deed affecting land in judicial proceedings (bankruptcy, receivership, probate, conservatorship, dissolution of marriage) that are unauthorized by court
  14. Deed affecting property purported to be separate property of grantor that is in fact community or jointly owned property
  15. Undisclosed divorce of someone who transfers title as the sole heir of a deceased former spouse
  16. Deed issued after judicial proceedings that are subject to appeal, further court order or where all necessary parties were not joined
  17. Deed affecting property of deceased person, not joining all heirs
  18. Deed following administration of estate of missing person who later reappears
  19. Discovery of later will after probate of first will or discovery of unknown will after probate
  20. Misinterpretation of will, deed or other instruments
  21. Transfer of property by an heir or survivor of a joint estate who murdered the decedent
  22. Transfer of property that is void because it is in violation of public policy, for example, as payment of gambling debt or for contract to commit crime
  23. Errors in tax record, including mailing tax bill to wrong party resulting in tax sale or crediting payment to wrong property
  24. Erroneous release of tax or assessment liens that are later reinstated to the tax rolls
  25. Deed recorded but not properly indexed so it can be located in the land records
  26. A prior satisfied mortgage that is released without notice of satisfaction due to a bona fide purchase of the note
  27. A prior satisfied mortgage is improperly released due to bankruptcy of creditor prior to the recording of the release or because it was obtained fraudulently by someone earlier in the chain of title
  28. Items that are recorded but undisclosed, including federal or state tax lien; spousal/child support lien; an environmental lien; a prior mortgage; a notice of pending lawsuit affecting the land; an option or right of first refusal to purchase property; covenants or restrictions; or easements for access, utilities, drainage, airspace or views that benefit neighboring land
  29. Undisclosed but recorded boundary, party wall or setback agreements
  30. Special assessments that become liens upon passage of a law or ordinance, but before recorded notice or commencement of improvements of which assessment is made
  31. Adverse claim of vendor’s lien or equitable lien
  32. Erroneous or inadequate legal descriptions
  33. Deed to land without a right of access to a public street or road
  34. Deed to land with legal access subject to undisclosed but recorded conditions or restrictions
  35. Defects in recorded instruments such as failure to attach notarial acknowledgment or a legal description
  36. Defective notary acknowledgment due to expiration of commission
  37. Forged notarization or witness acknowledgment
  38. Deed not properly recorded, for example, recorded with incorrect county, missing pages or other contents, or lacking required payment
  39. Deed to a purchaser from one who has previously sold or leased the same land to a third party under an unrecorded contract, where the third party is in possession of the premises

IN SOME STATES, extended coverage or an endorsement may be requested to protect against additional defects such as:
  1. A right or title established by a long unchallenged tenure that is not in the public record and not disclosed by survey
  2. Physical location of easement (underground pipe or sewer line) that does not conform with easement in the public record
  3. Deed to land with improvements encroaching upon land of another
  4. Incorrect survey that misstates location, dimensions, area easements or improvements upon land
  5. Mechanics’ lien claims (securing payment of contractors and material suppliers for improvements) that may attach to the property without recorded notice
  6. Federal estate or state inheritance tax liens that may attach without recorded notice
  7. Preexisting violation of subdivision mapping laws or zoning ordinances
  8. Preexisting violation of conditions, covenants and restrictions affecting the land

Contact a North American Title agent today to protect your homeownership rights.
*The examples are given for purposes of illustration only. Actual scenarios may vary significantly, depending upon the particular facts relating to any specific property.