Title Insurance When Purchasing Property at a Foreclosure Sale

By Michele Brown

November 9, 2015




Should one purchase an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance when buying at a Foreclosure Sale?

Particularly when paying cash for real property at a Sheriff’s sale one should consider purchasing Owner’s Title insurance. Ohio Revised Code 2329.191 requires title evidence as part of many foreclosure’s and sheriff’s sales. The purchaser at such sales may be protected as to some matters but the purchaser should consider an owner’s policy if paying cash.


A lien or other encumbrance may be missed, also there can be issues regarding improper service and proper parties as well. The chain of title may include marital status issues and also is all of the real property making up the property been included.

The person being foreclosed on may have purchased the parcels compromising the property at various times and not all of the parcels may have been included on the foreclosed mortgage. A recent example is a case where the property was in two counties. Vacant land was located in one county. The residential structure was located on adjoining land in an adjoining county.


The lender requested title evidence but was only provided with title work on the vacant land. The foreclosure proceeded and the buyer purchased the property at the sheriff’s sale. Before the first buyer had taken title to the property he entered into a contract to sell the property. While waiting on the confirmation of sale to be completed title work was conducted which revealed the prior title evidence did not include the residential property in the adjoining county.

The Confirmation of Sale did not provide for payment of the real estate taxes in the adjoining county and for proper release of the mortgage lien in the adjoining county among other issues.

Similar situations have occurred regarding access to the property. Where the parcel with the driveway or other form of access was not included in the sale.

The point of this article is that the prospective buyer should make sure they are protected under the provisions of Ohio Revised Coded and /or purchase an owner’s policy as part of the transaction to avoid such occurrences as noted above.




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