Seder & Chandler, LLP
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State legislation may provide clarity to some real estate titles


There are always risks inherent to buying or selling properties on the residential real estate market but most Massachusetts residents believe that once they get through the closing process, the negotiating drama should end. For some individuals who purchased foreclosed properties in the past, new issues arose when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court voided many of those sales.

With sales effectively cancelled, many families found themselves living him homes where they did not have titles. While many were likely still making mortgage payments on those properties, all undoubtedly felt the pressure of being thrown back into real estate nightmares long after they expected all of the problems to be resolved.

Recently, the Massachusetts Senate approved a bill that would grant property titles back to those individuals affected by the Supreme Judicial Court's determinations. Passage of the bill was unanimous in the Senate and now it will move to the House for consideration and voting.

The failure to possess title to a piece of real estate can prevent an occupant from making improvements, challenging incursions and other significant events that impact the property's utility and function. Additionally and in the case of these presumptive owners, if the people who will soon hopefully get title back did not then they would effectively be tenants of some other owners.

As the Massachusetts House takes up this matter the impacted homeowners will have to wait and see what happens with their real estate. In the interim, others who are dealing with foreclosure issues either as buyers or sellers may consider working with real estate attorneys to have their questions answered by reliable and knowledgeable professionals.

Source: CBS 3 Springfield, "Mass. Senate OKs bill to overhaul foreclosure laws," Jan. 24, 2014

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