For many people, their home is the single largest and most important asset in their family. The family home is not just a major economic resource that can help build wealth, it is often the emotional cornerstone of the family. If a homeowner raises a family in the home, there are going to be a lifetime of memories and it becomes extremely important that the home – and the memories – stay in the family for future generations. The best way to ensure this is through proper estate planning.
Unfortunately, this estate planning doesn’t always happen. There are many instances where the homeowner has passed away without taking the needed steps to ensure that the home can be retitled in the current occupant’s name. This scenario is commonly known as a “tangled title.” A person has a tangled title issue when they are the occupant of a home and they have a legal interest in the home, but their name is not on the property’s deed. Without their name on the deed, housing assistance programs, tax credits, and repair grants are often inaccessible and the property becomes significantly more at risk to being lost through tax sale or mortgage foreclosure. It is imperative that this deed transfer happens as soon as possible.
However, in Maryland, it is currently required that there be a clean lien sheet to transfer title and record a new deed. A lien sheet lists all municipal bills due, including water bills, property taxes, and environmental/housing fines. The current homeowner must pay all existing municipal before the property can be transferred. The lien sheet requirement is particularly restrictive for MVLS clients who find themselves in tangled title situations due to the need to pay all existing liens on top of the probate costs. This barrier is often insurmountable. MVLS now has a Tangled Title Fund that clients can use to satisfy these liens in order to transfer title into their names. Clients can receive up to $2,500 in funding with the goal being that the client become the record owner of the property at issue at the end of the case.
For a full list of guidelines, please refer here.
To request funding, or for more information about the fund, please contact Tim Chance at email@example.com.