An affidavit of title is created by a property seller and designed to protect the buyer. It is a commonly used legal document in real estate purchase agreement transactions and other property transactions where ownership is transferred, and it does not distinguish between property types (such as a home, condominium, or a piece of land).
What Is an Affidavit of Title?
The affidavit of title contains a sworn statement where the seller of a piece of real estate swears that they hold the property’s title. In other words, it is legal proof that the seller owns the property and has the right to sell it to another person.
In the document, the seller makes several sworn statements, which include:
- Confirmation the seller is, in fact, the owner of the property in question.
- Confirmation the seller is not currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
- The seller is not also selling the property to another buyer.
- A detailed list of any liens on the property or a representation of no liens, encumbrances, lawsuits, or other legal issues against the property.
When to Use
Real Estate Transactions: Affirm their ownership of the property and warrant that there are no undisclosed liens, judgments, or other claims against the title.
Mortgage or Loan Applications: Verify that the borrower has clear title to the property and that no known issues could affect the lender’s security interest in the property.
Title Insurance: Assess the risk associated with the title and determine whether to issue a title insurance policy.
Foreclosure Proceedings: Establish the lender’s ownership interest in the property and confirm that there are no other conflicting claims against the title.
Boundary Disputes or Property Claims: Present evidence of ownership and provide a sworn statement about the status of the title.
How to Write
Follow the steps below to write an affidavit of title.
Step 1 – Write Owner Details
Provide the current property owner’s (seller’s) full name, date of birth, and social security. Indicate if there is a single owner or if there are multiple property owners. If there are multiple owners, provide the same information for each of them.
Step 2 – Enter Marital Information
If there are multiple property owners, specify whether the owners are married to each other. If yes, provide the date of marriage, any prior names used (i.e., maiden names), and whether the property is or was the principal matrimonial residence.
Step 3 – Enter Contact Details
Provide the owner’s address, including the street address, city, state, and zip code. Also, specify each owner’s telephone number.
Step 4 – Describe the Property
Provide the full address (street, city, state, zip code) of the property subject to this affidavit.
Specify whether the property has had any additions or substantial improvements made. If yes, provide a description of the additions and/or improvements and the date those were performed.
Step 5 – Note Liens and Encumbrances
Provide whether there are any liens or encumbrances against the property. If yes, mention the type of lien or encumbrance, whether it is a judgment, tax lien, etc., and provide a detailed description.
Specify whether there are any adverse tax claims against the property. If there are, provide a detailed description.
Step 6 – Note Any Bankruptcy
Provide whether the owner(s) has declared bankruptcy in the past. If yes, mention the date of bankruptcy and whether there are any outstanding claims from the bankruptcy.
Step 7 – Fill in the Possession Information
Specify whether current tenants live on the property or any outstanding property leases. If yes, provide the date the lease will expire.
Affidavit of Title Sample
Below, you can find what an affidavit of title typically looks like.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have bankruptcy on my record. What happens if I leave it off my affidavit of title?
Do not misrepresent any facts on your affidavit of title, or you could find yourself contending with unwanted legal issues. In this legal document, you affirm the truth and veracity of your statements under oath. Misrepresentation, at best, could be construed as fraud.
I want to buy a property, but the owner refuses to sign an affidavit of title. Should I be concerned?
You should be concerned if a person refuses to sign an affidavit of title. A list of potential concerns is below:
- The person doesn’t own the property.
- The person owns the property with another person who doesn’t want to sell or doesn’t know about the proposed sale.
- There are liens on the property.
- The person is not authorized to sell the property for some other reason.
How do I remove a mechanic’s lien from the title if I’ve already paid?
Your property should not have a lien if you have completed the payment. Obtain the proof of payment and send it to the lienholder along with a letter.
Ask them to remove the lien. This is probably just an oversight on the contractor’s part. However, if they refuse to lift the lien, you may have to file a lawsuit to “quiet title.”