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AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 609
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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I just don't know how to ask this. I inherited my mother's

Customer Question

I just don't know how to ask this. I inherited my mother's house, and during her lifetime some sort of shady real estate action happened in her neighborhood involving a lot of people and the town and county government. My neighbors divided a lot of land among themselves. The details are being hidden, probably in a social services file. I can't find out about the title of a strip of land that is my very long driveway. There's a tax roll number with no corresponding tax payer. I've spent a lot of money litigating before I know I was being deceived since 2007. I have done a lot of research. I realize now that I have an abstract of title which probably had title insurance attached to it. That was removed and replaced with a map of the neighborhood. My father was the premier broker/appraiser in the county 30 years ago. It is likely he had title insurance, but I can't get anyone to tell me where to find out if it was insured in 1973. It is likely that the title insurance company doesn't exist, and I hope merged with some other company. My best guess it was Albany Title Co. but it could have been Chicago Title Company. At least that is where I would start. Do you have any ideas how I can track this down. It's a small community and EVERYONE in the real estate and law business seems to have some sort of exposure to this nasty deal. I am facing having to file an Article 15 to quiet title, and it would be nice to be insured.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: I've tried asking abstract companies, lawyer, the lawyer who now owns the abstract company, the person who did my title search, and the State of NY. No help. No answer.
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: New York
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Oh, yes, my lawyer lost the lawsuit so badly he rewrote NYS law. I fear going forward with him, but I don't know where to turn at this point. I just fear a countersuit at this point.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 4 months ago.

Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 4 months ago.

Just a moment as I type a response...

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 4 months ago.

It will probably be tough to figure out all of the prior owner's title insurance companies without starting your quiet title lawsuit. You will basically have to go through the chain of title, and add each prior owner to your lawsuit. Then, the people you are suing (prior owners) will have to disclose their title insurance companies. The disclosure of the insurance company is mandatory and they must do it at the beginning of the lawsuit. There might be insurance there - there might not, but if there is, you don't really have a way of knowing until you sue them, unless the prior owners just want to voluntarily give that information to you.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I must have been unclear. It is about my own title insurance, or more specifically the title insurance that was my mother and father's for a piece of land abstracted for my father. Something very shady has happened that is being hidden. I think all of my neighbors were given land that was a system of roads around my house, land locking my mother, now me. Even the lawyer I hired was in on it, and I believe he removed the title insurance from 1973 from the abstract. I know that the abstractor used Albany Title Company, and another one used at that time was Chicago Title. Chicago is still in existence, and I will contact them. I tried talking with the attorney who now owns the abstract company, but he also has a client involved in this, very centrally involved. My own abstractor is directly related to the current abstract of the land in 2000. It's a very small community. The assessor won't tell me who owns the land, despite FOIL. I sent a FOIL to the county where the assessor sent me, and the county attorney said that the assessor should know, but the county attorney is part of it too, writing a deed merging land that was the road between two neighbors. Whatever happened was illegal, and no one wants me to find out. It seems that that is true of the state too. So, I'm just simply looking for the title insurance that I think my father had on the parcel of land involved. The insurance that was removed from the abstract when I was too innocent to know what was happening. I think it was written by Albany Title Company. It's no longer listed on the list that NYS gave to me. So it is either out of business or part of another company now. I need to find the documentation showing I have insurance, or my parents did, and I would still have it on the land from it.

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