Resolving Real-Estate Title Defects
Our law firm has substantial experience in resolving Real Estate title issues within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. If a prior real estate closing was improperly handled or a defect is discovered that needs to be addressed, Attorney Sincavage or his qualified staff can assist in resolving the problem. The list of title issues that Attorney Sincavage has experience in handling and resolving are:
- open and undischarged or missing assignments of mortgages;
- open and unreleased judgments;
- boundary-line issues;
- missing death certificates or affidavits when one persons dies and there are two or more people on title;
- improperly closed estates;
- lack of access to a property;
- estates that were opened but never properly closed.
The number one issue that we encounter that is considered a title defect is an open/undischarged mortgage or missing assignment of Mortgage to the Mortgage company on record title who discharged the Mortgage or failed to record the assignment or discharge.
The law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires a lender to prepare a discharge/lien release/satisfaction of Mortgage or Equity Line for the Registry of Deeds upon receiving full payment for the mortgage.
While most lenders file the satisfaction instrument automatically at the Registry of Deeds, some out-of-state lenders occasionally will mail these directly to the borrower and this unfortunately can cause these important documents to become lost, discarded, and unrecorded in the official records. Our office is efficient at resolving these open mortgage and/or title issues issues without litigation (but never afraid to use it when necessary). If the lender (i.e. the mortgagee) is no longer in business or is deceased, we are able to resolve those problems for clients relatively quickly through the court system.
If a judgment was paid off and the creditor fails to satisfy that judgment within thirty days, the debtor who paid it off can compel satisfaction and sue also for statutorily imposed monetary damages. We find this to occur less frequently than open mortgages because most creditors have competent local attorneys who quickly satisfy the judgments upon receiving a payoff. The occasional problem arises when you have an unrepresented plaintiff/judgment creditor who is unfamiliar with the laws of Massachusetts.