U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-03-2021, 09:00 AM
Status: "Talking to ghosts" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
69,248 posts, read 64,617,792 times
Reputation: 85513

Advertisements

I am selling my late mother's house. I have never sold a house before.

The lawyer sent an email the other day asking if I have any "back title" information or an old survey of the property. (She also requested my father's death certificate even though he died in 1999 and my mother lived in the house until her death last March. I can get the death certificate.)

I replied asking what "back title" meant, but she hasn't responded. Can anyone tell me what this might be?

When cleaning out the house, we found the original drawings and the contract to build and other documents from the 1950s when the house was built. I don't know if there was any sort of survey in there. My sister who is my co-executrix took them home, but unfortunately she has been hospitalized with COVID since March 23 and was just moved to a rehab and is in isolation again for two weeks. I will have to drive a couple of hours to meet my BIL and see what's in the box, but I want to know what I'm looking for.
__________________
Moderator posts are in RED.
City-Data Terms of Service: //www.city-data.com/terms.html

Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 05-03-2021 at 09:06 AM.. Reason: Typos
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-03-2021, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,666 posts, read 4,909,191 times
Reputation: 5102
Maybe they mean "abstract"?

For those not familiar with the term, as I understand many years ago property was maintained with an abstract, essentially a book or ledger that contained a description of the property and history of ownership. I believe that in later years attorneys or title companies would maintain these.

I had some raw land that I received through the estate of a relative that I had the original abstract for. Made for some interesting reading, for sure.

RM
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 10:24 AM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,529 posts, read 16,356,255 times
Reputation: 16386
"A back title letter is a document given by a title insurance company to an attorney representing a buyer or seller that describes the history of the title. They are used legally to give the condition of a title, and the title is usually handled by a reliable examiner before a formal letter is released to the attorney." Many times these "back title letters" are referred to as a "start" in that the title company will defend the title based on its previous search and examination of ownership documents.

Being that the property had 1 owner since 1950, a full abstract (title search, not a rundown) will have to be done. The only possibility of avoiding a full search is if, at any time a mortgage or even 2nd mortgage was taken out. A rundown (based on a "start") used to cost around $50 but a full search was usually based on hours involved. Given that the property was not sold since 1950, the cost will most likely be greater than the standard "rundown" but shouldn't be exorbitant. If you know of any mortgages held by your parents, providing that info would reduce the costs of a full search.

FYI - I was a title searcher and later did title examinations. Although I have been out of that "business" for over 20 years, I still dabble.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 12:03 PM
Status: "Talking to ghosts" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
69,248 posts, read 64,617,792 times
Reputation: 85513
Thank you, NYAnnie. A mortgage was taken out to pay for the house and probably a second one, because I recall my mother complaining that she had just paid off the mortgage early when my father borrowed money again to put the addition on. They built the house with three kids and ended up with 7.

Wonder if something like that is what she is looking for.
__________________
Moderator posts are in RED.
City-Data Terms of Service: //www.city-data.com/terms.html

Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 05-03-2021 at 03:57 PM.. Reason: Typo
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
22,385 posts, read 11,710,878 times
Reputation: 13156
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
I am selling my late mother's house. I have never sold a house before.

The lawyer sent an email the other day asking if I have any "back title" information or an old survey of the property. (She also requested my father's death certificate even though he died in 1999 and my mother lived in the house until her death last March. I can get the death certificate.)

I replied asking what "back title" meant, but she hasn't responded. Can anyone tell me what this might be?

When cleaning out the house, we found the original drawings and the contract to build and other documents from the 1950s when the house was built. I don't know if there was any sort of survey in there. My sister who is my co-executrix took them home, but unfortunately she has been hospitalized with COVID since March 23 and was just moved to a rehab and is in isolation again for two weeks. I will have to drive a couple of hours to meet my BIL and see what's in the box, but I want to know what I'm looking for.
A survey is a picture/map/drawing of the lot. If your family has owned since the 1950's when it was built, it's doubtful you have one in the box. They would have more likely done nothing but gotten a copy of their relevant block and lot with theirs noted.

When you say you're selling, and the attorney is asking for .... are you preparing to sell, and the attorney is trying to gather up all the "evidence"? Or, you have a contract with a Buyer, and they're looking for all these things?

If the property was never remortgaged/refinanced, then there's likely no title info you would find. Your parents may have kept their deed or their "paid off mortgage Deed of Trust" (many did a "mortgage burning party" when they paid the house off.

The title part just makes the attorney/title officer's work easier.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 03:24 PM
 
Location: southwest TN
8,529 posts, read 16,356,255 times
Reputation: 16386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Thank you, NYAnnie. A mortgage was taken out to pay for the house and probably a second one, because I recall my mother complaining that she had just paid off the mortgage early when my father borrowed money again to put the addition on. They built the house with three kids and ended up with 7.

Wonder if somethong like that is what she is looking for.
Most modern mortgages require title insurance and to get one, a title search is performed and a title policy issued if the property is found to be clear of liens and encumbrances - in other words, clear title. The lawyer is looking for a "start" - a point in time where the property is insured by the title company to be free and clear.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 03:59 PM
Status: "Talking to ghosts" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
69,248 posts, read 64,617,792 times
Reputation: 85513
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
A survey is a picture/map/drawing of the lot. If your family has owned since the 1950's when it was built, it's doubtful you have one in the box. They would have more likely done nothing but gotten a copy of their relevant block and lot with theirs noted.

When you say you're selling, and the attorney is asking for .... are you preparing to sell, and the attorney is trying to gather up all the "evidence"? Or, you have a contract with a Buyer, and they're looking for all these things?

If the property was never remortgaged/refinanced, then there's likely no title info you would find. Your parents may have kept their deed or their "paid off mortgage Deed of Trust" (many did a "mortgage burning party" when they paid the house off.

The title part just makes the attorney/title officer's work easier.
Yes, we are under contract. And yes, lol, I know what a survey is. She just mentioned that along with "back title" which I didn't understand.

I think we had the deed when we first started emptying the house last summer. At any rate, I'm going to my sister's house to see what I can find on Thursday.
__________________
Moderator posts are in RED.
City-Data Terms of Service: //www.city-data.com/terms.html
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
22,385 posts, read 11,710,878 times
Reputation: 13156
I would simply say "the house has been in my family since it was built in 1950, and both my parents are now deceased. I'll try to find this info, but I doubt I will be successful."
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-03-2021, 06:26 PM
Status: "Talking to ghosts" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
69,248 posts, read 64,617,792 times
Reputation: 85513
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoBromhal View Post
I would simply say "the house has been in my family since it was built in 1950, and both my parents are now deceased. I'll try to find this info, but I doubt I will be successful."
Thanks. House was actually built in 1957. They moved in November 1957. I was born in August 1958. I suspect I was a housewarming.

But yes, we found some cool stuff in the closet. The original drawings. The contract to build, and I THINK the deed was in there, too. It was a wooded lot when they bought it, but I don't know who owned it before. At one time it was likely part of a farm belonging to the pre-Revolutionary house up the street. An unmortared stone wall runs behind the property, common in the NY/NJ area where the Dutch settled. Lots of rocks in the soil from the glaciers.

Some gov documents because my father was a disabled WWII vet and he got a grant to build an accessible house (no front steps, extra wide doorways and large bathrooms, one with a shower you could pull a wheelchair into if necessary) long before there was an ADA. A letter from the contractor stating the price increase since my father wanted birch cabinets instead of pine. Never knew this stuff was up in my mother's bedroom closet all these years.

Anyway, I'll take the trip to my sister's and find the box and see what's in there. At the least, they want my father's death certificate.
__________________
Moderator posts are in RED.
City-Data Terms of Service: //www.city-data.com/terms.html
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-04-2021, 09:06 AM
 
Location: USA
2,425 posts, read 937,845 times
Reputation: 6865
The new title company will use the "back title" as a start for their search of title and liens. They accept the back title for prior history. Your telling them that your family has owned the property since 1957 doesn't provide title history. If there has not been a title policy and title search prior upon which the new title company can rely, they will have to start their title search at 1957 and trace title and liens through local, county and state records, increasing their time and expense. Otherwise they cannot guarantee clean, unencumbered title.

They may need your father's death certificate because the house may not have been re-titled on the tax and assessment records after your father died. They may still show both your parents on the tax rolls.

"An unmortared stone wall runs behind the property, common in the NY/NJ area where the Dutch settled. Lots of rocks in the soil from the glaciers."

Yes, I never fully appreciated all the stone walls in New England and the upper mid-Atlantic states until I moved to Florida and realized there are no rocks here. Just sand. All those beautiful rolling hills and curvy roads, surrounded by stone walls, some crumbling, but still discernable. Lovely.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top