Minnesota, and much of the United States as well, uses two separate but related systems for tracking real property ownership/title. These systems are called abstract and torrens. The distinctions between the two are numerous and well beyond the scope of this content. What is relevant here is to point out that these records can cause problems for real property owners, creditors, purchasers, and sellers. Disputes about borders, encroachments, easements, equitable servitudes, and real covenants can all relate to issues in title. These disputes can result in nearly intractable litigation. This is one of the main reasons for the expense of title insurance.
As you are probably aware, title insurance helps protect real property buyers and creditors against losses resulting from unknown defects in the title to your property that existed before the closing of a real estate transaction. Those unknown defects include outstanding liens on the property (e.g., unpaid real estate taxes by a prior owner) or other encumbrances (errors or omissions in deeds, undisclosed errors, fraud, forgery, mistakes in examining records). These deficits can result in additional costs in the future or even invalidate a home buyer's right of ownership in the property. They might also invalidate the lender's security interest in the policy. Title insurance policies cover the insured party for any covered losses and legal fees that might arise out of such problems.
For this reason, title insurance is an extremely important part of most real property transactions. Unfortunately, as with any transaction or insurance, issues come up. When they do, most title insurers (or the party with the defect) will reliably take action to correct the defect. In certain circumstances this is impossible or simply does not happen. In those cases with unresolved disputes, you need an attorney that is familiar with title issues and disputes, title insurance claims processes, and with title insurance litigation.
Call Wilson Law Group if you need someone to review a title or title insurance policy, navigate the claims process, or take court action against the insurer or other parties to a transaction or dispute.