William LaCourse, Attorney at Law
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A title search is a search of the records at the registry of deeds and probate, and, if needed, the superior court, in the county where your land is located. The title abstracter (the person who performs the title search) first creates a chain of title for your land. This begins with the current owner and goes back through all the owners of the land for at least the last 35 years. The abstracter then examines all of the properly recorded documents under each owner’s name for the period the owner owned the land. These documents include mortgages, easements, tax liens, attachments, plans. The abstracter then writes a report which lists the period of the title search and all the recorded documents which he or she believes may actually affect your land.

A title search does not reveal many matters which may affect your land. Although many of these matters can be determined through diligent research in the records of town, federal and state courts and offices, etc., the cost would be prohibitive and it would take much longer than most buyers want to wait. The following list shows the matters which a title search may not reveal, unless they were recorded in the registry of deeds:

1. unpaid property taxes, if any, for the current year (This tax, if any, will be determined by whoever is closing your purchase and will be paid at closing.);

2. errors of description, size and area of the lot, encroachments, overlaps, boundary line disputes, and other matters which would be disclosed by a complete and accurate survey or an inspection of the premises;

3. the rights of persons in possession and the rights of those claiming possession under leases for a term of less than seven years and possible unrecorded possessory or easements rights obtained by adverse use - this is satisfied by an affidavit the sellers will sign at closing;

4. liens for taxes, assessments, and attachments which do not need to be recorded in order for them to be in effect, such as mechanics liens - this will be satisfied by an affidavit the sellers will sign at closing;

5. unrecorded liens, whether presently existing or arising afterwards, because of any indebtedness or liability to the State of New Hampshire pursuant to the Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Fund (New Hampshire RSA 147-B), and any forfeitures or confiscation of property under the Hazardous Waste Management Act (New Hampshire RSA 147-A);

6. for waterfront property, any wharf use, boat docking or mooring in public waters, unless the dock permit is recorded;

7. any bankruptcy proceedings and the rights of any creditors if a determination is made that this transfer is fraudulent or preferential, unless notice is recorded in the registry of deeds;

8. the provisions of any public or private laws, whether federal, state, county, municipal and otherwise, and any codes, regulations, rulings and ordinances, affecting the disposition, use, and occupancy of the premises, including lot merger;

9. any disability of a grantor (seller) in the chain of title, any forgery of an instrument in the chain of title, any fraudulent or mistaken identity of a record title holder due to similar or identical names, any registry errors in the record, the rights of any undisclosed heirs, any exercise of a power of attorney after the death or disability of the creator of the power, and any defects in the chain of title due to lack of delivery of the deed to the grantee - title insurance covers you for this risk.


Contact Information:
Office location: 60 Whittier Highway, Unit 8A, Moultonboro, NH
Mailing address: PO Box 265, Center Harbor, NH 03226
telephone: 603/253-7351 •


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