Securing an Interest in Real Property
It is a good idea to record your interest in any real property with the Recorder of Deeds as soon as possible. In a divorce matter, if one party is keeping the home, a new deed may need to be drawn up to indicate the sole ownership of the property. Transfers of real property incident to a divorce are exempt from the standard realty transfer taxes. On the other hand, you may need to put a lien on real property to protect your interest in the home’s value or as leverage for other sums due to you. In Philadelphia, an Affidavit of Interest in Real Property should be completed and submitted to the Recorder of Deeds. A copy of the current deed for the home is necessary to refer to the legal description of the property.
In Bucks County, parties can file a lis pendens. A lis pendens serves the same purpose in that it will pop up if a party tries to dispose of the property. A lien might also be put against a home for other unsecured debts. Often, at the time of settlement on a home, many of the debts would need to be paid off first. These unsecured debts are in addition to debts secured by the property such as mortgages or equity lines of credit. Failure to document your interest in real property could result in the home being transferred or sold without notice to you potentially eliminating your ability to recoup your share.