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We have received an unprecedented number of calls, letters and e-mails in response to our coverage of Walling v. Pryzbylo, a recent New York State Court of Appeals decision which addressed and reaffirmed the governing elements of an adverse-possession claim. The text of one of those letters follows:

I read your recent articles on adverse possession ("Getting Mowed By Adverse Possession," June 2006, and, "Adverse Possession: The Debate Rages On," August 2006) with considerable interest. The case you examined--Walling v. Przybylo--reinforces that buying or selling real estate is not an easy proposition. For sellers, it's mainly a waiting game--waiting for the buyer to obtain financing, conduct due diligence inspections, or close on a contingent sale. However, for buyers it's a different story. A buyer needs to be more proactive. The buyer not only has to inspect and finance the property, but protect it as well. That is where title insurance comes in; it safeguards the buyer/owner from unsuspected claims on title--like adverse possession. Most lenders require the purchase of title insurance in order for a buyer to close; however, the Walling case reinforces that it is also of utmost importance for all-cash deals.
Title insurance acts like a pillow in a real-estate transaction. You can sleep better at night with it. But title insurance is only part of what we do. For purchases, we work closely with the buyer's attorney; and for refinances, we coordinate the closing with the lender. The title company will research and solve any title problems found before the transaction can close. And that's how problems, like the adverse possession claim made in the Walling v. Przybylo case, can be avoided. Our staff works diligently--using the latest software--to research title issues. We then convert this information to an understandable plan for all parties to follow so that the deal gets done.
When buying property in New York, you will often encounter bumps on the road to closing. Choosing a responsible and reputable title company can make those impediments a whole lot easier to maneuver.
Steve Carvelli, Manhattan Title Agency

To download a copy of our June 2006 newsletter, please click on the following link:
To download a copy of our August 2006 newsletter, please click on the following link: