Definition of "Affidavit of Title"

Danny  Michael real estate agent

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Generally speaking, an affidavit is a written statement or declaration, made under oath before a licensed individual, such as a notary public or even a Judge. You’ve probably heard the term on police and legal courtroom TV shows. In other terms, it’s a legal testimony the person swears by as the truth.

In real estate, affidavit of title refers to a written statement made by the home sellers, testifying the “health” status of the property title. It is usually a request made by title companies in order to issue title insurance. In the affidavit of title, the home seller states the property is theirs to sell and he’s not selling to anyone else, plus discloses any potential legal issues (like a lien) the property might be going through. The affidavit of title should also address any bankrupt proceedings the home seller might be going through which could hold the house as a collateral asset.

The idea behind the affidavit of title is providing a safety net for the home buyer in the case of any legal issues facing the seller and/or the house later on. The affidavit of title is produced during closing, and can have from 1 to 5 pages, depending on the number of encumbrances the property has.

Exclusions are sometimes given in an affidavit of title. For instance: a home seller can state that there is attached to the title still some owed mortgage, and he or she will pay it after closing. With this information, the home buyer can elect to pay no mind to it or tell the home seller he or she will only go through with the sale if the issue is fully resolved beforehand.

In some jurisdictions, an Affidavit of title is mandatory in order for the transfer of title to happen.

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Comments for Affidavit Of Title

Lucie Lucie said:

Hi, my husband just recently passed away. Both our names are on my house we own. I would like the house to be transferred (title) under my name now. He left a will stating I am the sole beneficiary of all property etc... Is an affidavit of title the best way to deal with this? Thank you for your direction.

Dec 22, 2020  14:37:12

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Lucie! 

We are sorry for your loss. If there is a transfer on death deed in place, the process is fairly simple, and title transfer happens relatively quick. Since you haven’t mentioned anything about it, it may be a more lengthy and complicated process. 

Even though you are the sole beneficiary of all property, according to the will, the property must go through probate. The probate process can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why you might want to transfer property by other means to avoid probate court. An affidavit of title is a legal document that acts as proof that the seller is, in fact, the property owner and attests that other facts about the property are correct. Not sure in which way it might help you.

We suggest you get in touch with a real estate attorney who can help you find other methods to transfer the property to your name and avoid probate. Good luck with the title transfer, and hopefully, everything goes well!

Dec 24, 2020  09:18:21
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