Laws, regulations, and procedures relating to real estate vary widely from country to country, state to state, and even county to county. In the United States, real estate law derives from ancient English principals, modified in different places by local needs as they evolved. Without intimate familiarity and experience with the regional requirements and peculiarities of the area/s involving your real estate transaction, it is possible to conclude transactions which create or exacerbate serious title defects. For instance, the state of Massachusetts in the United States has a unique and complicated “dual system” in each county whereby two land records systems are controlled and maintained independently. Approximately 20% of properties are designated as “Registered Land.” Registered Land is certified under a system established in the 1800s and modeled after an Australian method for recording ownership interest in ships. Registered lands and the more common “Recorded Lands” are maintained by separate registries. A single useable unit of land may overlap these dual systems, and be designated as both Registered and Recorded, requiring deeds and other instruments affecting the land to be recorded or filed in both systems. Such a parcel can also overlap counties, requiring that instruments be recorded and registered in more than one county. In addition, there are differing software structures and filing protocols between the two registry systems, as well as rather inflexible requirements for the documents being filed.
A title problem unknowingly created at acquisition will interfere with future financing or conveyance, and may require a court petition to correct. Persons – including otherwise knowledgeable lawyers – not experienced in the real estate title particularities in the location in which you are contemplating a property transaction may inadvertently make a mistake costing you time, money, and opportunity. Retaining an Ally Law member firm with substantive experience in both real estate and adjacent areas of law such as tax, corporate, and trust law will protect your property and ensure smooth transactions, in addition to safeguarding your business and personal interests.
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