What to Do When You Lost Your Property Title
A land title is one of the most essential documents that prove property ownership. Two types of this document prove ownership: the Owner's Copy of Title and the copy of the property title kept by the Registry of Deeds. Aside from that, the Original Certificate of Title is issued to owners when the property is first registered. While the Condominium Certificate of Title is issued to owners of condo units. But what if you lose a copy of your property title? How will you prove ownership of your property?
To find out, keep reading as we share the four (4) steps to get a new property title if you lose your copy. The steps below apply to house, lot, or condo properties.
Step 1: Get an Affidavit of Loss.
If you already searched every corner of your house but to no avail, it's time to take legal action to avoid problems in the future. The first step is to secure an Affidavit of Loss, made by a lawyer, and must be notarized. When requesting this document, tell your lawyer how you lost your property title. There are many reasons why many property owner's titles went missing.
Some owners misplaced it, while others lost their property title due to theft, fire, flood, and other similar events. Improper storage of fragile property titles can also lead to termite destruction. Whatever your case, the only way to get a new property title is via a court process. But you should obtain an Affidavit of Loss before going through the Reissuance of Title process.
Step 2: Obtain a Certified True Copy of Title with lost title annotation.
After obtaining an Affidavit of Loss, the next step is to get a Certified True Copy of Title with lost title annotation. To obtain this document, you should present the Affidavit of Loss made by your lawyer to the Registry of Deeds, located at the city or municipal hall. The Registry of Deeds will annotate or indicate at the back of the original title regarding the loss of your title.
Step 3: Attend the court hearing.
As stated earlier, the court process is the only way to secure a new property title. There are two legal remedies to get a copy of the title. The Petition for Reissuance is the solution if your property title was destroyed or damaged due to natural calamities, such as flood and fire. On the contrary, the Petition for Reissuance is the applicable solution if your property title was destroyed or lost due to other reasons.
To attend a court hearing, you and your lawyer should file a petition for Reissuance or Reconstitution of Title. In addition, you'll need the Certified True Copy of the Title with an annotation of the "lost title," which you secured from the Registry of Deeds. During the court hearing, you should also prove to the judge, in good faith, that your property title is really missing. If successful, you can proceed with the 4th step.
Step 4: Bring the court order to the Registry of Deeds.
Finally, you can secure a new property title by presenting the court order to the Registry of Deeds. The court order is a formal document stating the judge's official judgment to grant you a new property title. After presenting the court order to the Registry of Deeds, you can obtain a new owner's duplicate copy of the property title.
But do note that there are requirements you must comply with when you lose your property title. Also, you should pay the applicable fees before obtaining a new copy of your property title, which I'll discuss in my next article. Remember, replacing a lost property title as soon as possible is vital to avoid fraudulent claims and easy transfer.