SLANDER OF TITLE: YOUR PROPERTY’S TITLE HISTORY CAN BE PROTECTED.
If you are an individual who owns real estate in Illinois, you should be aware of your property’s title history. The title history is a list of all documents recorded against the property in the county where the property sits.
Recorded documents are submitted to the county’s Recorder’s Office and are assigned a document number. Documents recorded against your property are usually available to view on your county Recorder’s website.
A typical title history for a residential property likely includes only deeds and mortgages. For example, when one party sells a house, they convey it to another party with a deed. The party buying the house may get a mortgage that secures the loan used to buy the house. In this case, the mortgage is recorded against the property in favor of the lender that loaned the other party the money to purchase the home. When the property is sold again, the previous mortgage is usually paid off and released. In this way, a title history may only reflect a series of deeds, mortgages, and released mortgages.
But not all title histories are clear. It is possible for someone to record a document against your property with bad intent. Illinois courts may consider this a “slander” of your property’s title and award monetary damages.
Slander of title generally occurs when someone maliciously records a false document against your property’s title. If you are damaged by this recording, you pay to have it removed, or it affects your ability to sell the property, you may be entitled to damages.
An Illinois court may even award damages that are punitive, or meant as a punishment, against the person who slandered title. This depends on the level of maliciousness of the individual who slandered title and the damage actually done to your property’s title.
For example, many people have disputes with creditors. If you pay what is owed and the creditor still records a lien against your property, the creditor may be slandering your title. More common is a dispute with an acquittance or relative when they record a deed that affects your property and purports to convey it to somebody else.
As a result, it is prudent to periodically check your title history. If you believe someone recorded an inappropriate document against your property, local attorney Andrew Szocka provides thorough and speedy real estate help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.