Homeowner Told Her House Is Built on the Wrong Lot
A Florida woman recently received word a home she’s lived in for years is built on the wrong lot, reports WPXI, the local news outlet. The mix-up was made by a now out-of-business developer. Surveyors and others involved in Debbie Kaplan’s 2009 closing of her Palm Bay, Fla. home also failed to identify the mistake.
Homeowner told of mistake by appraisal office letter
Years passed before the Brevard County property appraisal office sent a letter detailing that her home was built on land belonging to someone else. Her official plot of land is supposed to be the vacant lot next door. According to the report, the legal owner of the land her house is built on has hired an attorney.
Homeowner fears losing her house
“What is your worst fear?” asked Todd Ulrich, a WFTV reporter, in a local news report on the case. “It’s losing my house. Somebody telling me, ‘Oh you have to get out,’” the homeowner replied. Kaplan worried she would be sued by the landowner and was at a loss for her next step.
Title insurance “protects ownership rights”
Kaplan contacted her title company and was told they’d need time to investigate her owner’s policy title insurance claim. “Title insurance is supposed to protect you if someone threatens your ownership rights,” said Karen Wonsetler, a real estate attorney contacted by WFTV. “Well, not only is this a threat to her ownership rights, it’s the roof over her head. This was her homestead.”
Wonsetler said a possible solution could be a land swap, where Kaplan gives away her ownership of the vacant lot in exchange for legal possession of the land under her house.