Attorney Jason A Greller
I'm Buying a House in Wisconsin. Does the Title Policy Guarantee "Clear Title" to the Property?
While a title insurance policy can offer significant protection to property owners, it does not provide an absolute guarantee of clear title. Instead, a title insurance policy provides coverage for specific risks and defects listed in the policy and up to the policy's coverage amount.
Title insurance can protect against various title defects, such as:
Errors in public records, including incorrect information or missing documents.
Liens or encumbrances on the property, such as unpaid taxes or judgments.
Fraud or forgery in the chain of title.
Undisclosed or missing heirs who may have a claim to the property.
Boundary disputes or encroachments.
Defective deeds, such as those executed under a false power of attorney or by a person who is legally incompetent.
However, title insurance policies often have exceptions and exclusions, which may not be covered. Common exclusions include:
Defects or encumbrances that were known by the insured but not disclosed to the insurer.
Issues related to zoning, land use, or building regulations.
Easements or other restrictions not listed in the policy.
Matters that might be discovered by a current survey of the property such as encroachments by fences, structures or driveways.
Issues arising after the policy's effective date, such as a new lien or encumbrance.
In summary, while a title insurance policy can provide significant protection to property owners in Wisconsin, it does not guarantee clear title in every situation. The policy typically covers specific risks and defects listed in the policy, subject to the policy's terms and conditions.
To better understand the scope and limitations of your title insurance policy, it's important to consult with a qualified attorney or real estate professional familiar with Wisconsin title insurance law.
Please note that this information is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney to discuss your specific situation and understand your legal options.