2019-01-11 / Letters

Property title exam standards questioned

To the editor,

As the Goose Rocks Beach lawsuit drags on for over a decade now and after the town has already spent over $1,250,000, one of the most troubling aspects of the suit should concern all property owners regardless of where their property is located.

One of the town’s defenses relates to the current standards for title examinations in the state of Maine.

The current standards require clear title back 40 years for warranty deeds, longer for quitclaim and certain other deeds. Apparently the town attorney’s contend that these standards are not adequate and titles should go back to their origins, possibly to even the 1600s, 1700s or 1800s when deeds were prepared by non-licensed people including property owners, and there were no standards.

If this is permitted to stand it could potentially affect the titles of every property owner in the state of Maine and cost thousands of dollars for title searches and title insurance and potentially lead to litigation or even the possibility of not being able to sell your property with a clear title.

As a real estate agent for almost 40 years and having been involved with the sale of hundreds of properties, this could be a very costly nightmare.

It’s time for the town to stop this foolish pursuit and go back to its acknowledgement prior to the suit that the beach is privately owned.

I’m still waiting to hear from anyone who has walked Goose Rocks Beach from end to end in an uninterrupted, open and notorious manner for over 20 years.

Bill Case

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