Common Title Defects in Minnesota

As a trusted title company with offices in Waconia, Cokato, Chaska, and Hutchinson, Minnesota, Title Mark understands the importance of addressing potential title issues before they become obstacles in the property buying or selling process. What some of the most common title issues that may arise in Minnesota and how they can be resolved?

Errors in Public Records

Human error is inevitable, and sometimes mistakes can be found in public records. Clerical errors, misinterpretation of information, or missing documents can lead to disputes over property ownership. It is essential to work with an experienced title company that will conduct a thorough title search and examination to identify and correct any inaccuracies before they become problematic.

Unknown Liens

Liens are a common title issue, and they can affect the transfer of property ownership. Liens may be placed on a property due to unpaid debts, such as taxes, contractor bills, or child support. Liens must be resolved before the property can be sold or refinanced. Title Mark can help uncover any existing liens on the property and ensure that they are addressed during the closing process.

Illegal Deeds

Sometimes, a property’s history may reveal that a past transfer of ownership involved an illegal deed. This can occur when a previous owner was a minor, had an undisclosed marital status, or provided false information during the transaction. This defect could impair an owner’s title. A knowledgeable title company can identify these discrepancies in the chain of title and work with legal professionals to resolve the issues.

Missing Heirs or Discovered Wills

When a property owner dies, their estate may be passed on to their heirs. However, it is not uncommon for long-lost heirs to appear after a property has been sold, claiming ownership based on a newly discovered will or unknown relationship to the deceased. This can lead to disputes over property ownership and delays in the transaction process. An experienced title company can help identify potential issues related to heirs and wills, ensuring that any claims are addressed appropriately.

Boundary and Survey Disputes

Disagreements over property boundaries are another common title issue. There could also be a discrepancy between the legal description of your property and what you assumed to be the boundary of your property. A professional survey can help resolve these issues by providing an accurate representation of the property’s boundaries. A title company can coordinate with surveyors and legal experts to address any boundary disputes that arise during the title examination process.


Easements grant others the right to use a portion of a property for specific purposes, such as access to utilities or a shared driveway. Sometimes, easements are not properly recorded or disclosed during a property transaction, leading to disputes and potential complications down the line. A thorough title search can reveal any existing easements, allowing the buyer to understand the limitations and rights associated with the property before finalizing the transaction.


Encroachments occur when a structure, such as a fence or building, intrudes onto a neighboring property. These issues can arise from inaccurate surveys, construction mistakes, or misinterpretation of property boundaries. Like boundary disputes, encroachments can be resolved through a professional survey and collaboration between the title company, legal counsel, and affected parties.


When a property owner files for bankruptcy, it can create complications in the title transfer process. Additional legal requirements or restrictions may apply depending on the status of the bankruptcy. An experienced title company like Title Mark can help navigate these complexities, ensuring that the transaction proceeds in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Foreclosure Issues

Properties that have gone through foreclosure may have lingering title issues, such as unpaid taxes, liens, or unresolved ownership disputes. A comprehensive title search can uncover any outstanding issues related to the foreclosure process, allowing buyers to address these matters before closing on the property.

Fraud and Forgery

Although rare, title fraud and forgery can have significant consequences for property transactions. Fraudulent activities may include forged signatures on deeds, impersonation of property owners, or falsification of documents. A diligent title company can help identify signs of fraud or forgery during the title search and examination process, safeguarding the buyer’s interests and ensuring a secure transaction.

Understanding and addressing common title issues is essential for successful property transactions in Minnesota. By working with a knowledgeable local title company like Title Mark, buyers and sellers can navigate these challenges and secure their property rights. Remember, the key to a smooth and successful closing process is a thorough title search and examination, and partnering with an experienced title company that understands the local market is essential.