Some cities and counties in Florida require an attorney opinion of title for certain real estate matters (such as a Unity of Title, water and sewer setup, zoning, development or permitting). Some lenders also require an attorney opinion of title letters, often for real estate transactions.
What is an Opinion of Title?
A Florida opinion of title is a letter drafted by an attorney after a full title search and examination of the property has been completed. The opinion letter confirms the ownership of the property, and if the property is owned by a company, the letter will also state who is authorized to act on behalf of the company.
An opinion of title also discusses any matters that impact title, such liens, easements, judgments, and mortgages.. Specifically, the letter details the lawyer’s findings regarding the title of the property, a description of what documents were used to reach a conclusion, and a list of the defects that were found.
The Benefits of an Opinion of Title
For government entities, these letters provide assurance that there are no title matters that will negatively impact what the homeowner is seeking to do (whether it be a development, renovation, easement, Unity of Title, water and sewer connection, etc). For a lender, an opinion of title serves to assure the lender that the loan documents they are having the borrower sign conform to federal and state laws, and the there are no adverse matters relating to the title that may have a negative effect on the loan.
The Components of the Opinion of Title
After a thorough title search and examination is done, the attorney opinion of title letter will delve into further details regarding the below matters:
Judgments and Liens
The opinionof title letter will identify liens, violations, and judgments of record and will also discuss whether they have an adverse impact on the task that the property owner is trying to undertake. For real estate purchase and sale transactions, these matters will often have to be resolved prior to the sale taking place.
An easement gives an individual or a corporate or government entity the right to use a part of a property while the property’s title remains with the owner. If a current or prior owner of the property previously gave or received permission to use a part of the property, this easement may not be in line with the task that the owner is trying to undertake. Any easements that are recorded in the public records will be set forth in the opinion of title letter, and the attorney will also state the impact (if any) that the easement has on the task that is being undertaken.
An attorney will perform a thorough search of a property’s chain of title to ensure that the current owner has superior ownership rights and the authority to act on all matters relating to the property. An opinion of title will also provide details relating to the method by which the owner took title to the property (such as a deed, a probate, etc).
Mortgages of Record
An opinion of title will reveal mortgages of record. Sometimes, the lender will have to sign a joinder to consent to whatever task it is that the owner is trying to achieve (such as a Unity of Title, lot split, development, etc).
How Farshchian Law Can Help
Obtaining an opinion of title doesn’t need to be a difficult task when you work with an experienced Florida real estate attorney. Farshchian Law has extensive experience preparing opinion of title letters for owners, buyers, and lenders of Florida property.
Call us at (800) 604-1871 or email us at Info@JFRealEstateLaw.com for a free consultation on the opinion of title process and how our real estate services can benefit you. Our flat-rate fee system ensures you won’t be surprised by legal fees down the road. We offer real estate and title/closing services throughout the State of Florida.