Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Helping Elders Clear Title – a Pro Bono or Elder Law Clinic project?

A recent alumnus of William Mitchell, who is working in the home mortgage department of a national bank, describes the following growing problem:  “We are speaking with elderly applicants who have old liens recorded on their titles which should not be there.  What's sad about the situation is that a lot of applicants are widows or widowers who had their spouse take care of all their property and lien issues, and they have no idea what to do to take these old liens off so the refinancing application can proceed.”  

As a first step toward helping this group of people, he suggested that elder law clinics and/or legal services programs that serve elders could develop a checklist to identify folks who might be in similar situations, something along the lines of:

  • When was the last date you checked your title? ·
  • Are you aware of all liens reported as open on your credit report?
  • Are there liens listed as open on your credit report that should be closed?
  • Does your title have any liens recorded on it that should not be there?
  • Does your title have any liens not recorded on it that should be there? ·
  •  Does your title have a current lien on there, but that lien's amount has increased/decreased, or has it been bought/superseded by another mortgagee? ·
  • Do you have the proper documents necessary to remove/modify/add the proper liens to your title? ·
  • Do you know how to modify your title?

What do folks think? Are there clinics or programs doing this kind of work? Is the problem one people are seeing in their regular practice? Are there other resources that can be used to address the issue?


Housing, Property Management | Permalink

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