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Real Estate FAQs

What is foreclosure?
“Foreclosure” is a legal process through which the bank, mortgage company, or other secured creditor takes back your house (or other real estate) because you have not repaid your mortgage as promised in the mortgage contract. 

Will bankruptcy save my house?
The answer as to whether bankruptcy can save your house depends upon your individual circumstances and can only be provided upon consultation with a qualified real estate lawyer.  However, in general, if you’ve keep up with the mortgage payments and can make the payments in the future, your house may be protected during the bankruptcy process.  Get good advice.

What is the right of survivorship?
Often real property is owned as joint tenants with the right of survivorship, especially among married couples.  The “right of survivorship” feature means that upon the death of one of the joint owners, the property will immediately transfer to the surviving owner(s.)  Though joint ownership with right of survival is very common, it has numerous pitfalls so be sure to get good legal advice regarding proper asset ownership in your particular situation.

What is a title search?
A title search is required by all banks and mortgage companies as a condition of supplying the funds to buy real estate.  If you are paying cash for real property, a title search is prudent, though not required.
A title searcher, either on-line or at the courthouse, checks the title, transferred from owner to owner to ensure that the person selling a piece of real estate actually holds title, or otherwise has the right to sell the property.  “Holds title to” means “owns the property.”
Typically, real estate buyers purchase “title insurance” to protect their interest in the property.  If it turns out the seller really didn’t have the right to transfer the real property, the title insurance pays to protect the buyer’s interest in that property.

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