More than a third of all residential real estate transactions were found to have title problems in 2005, up from a quarter of such transactions in 2000, according to a survey by the American Land Title Association.The precise figures were 36% last year and 25% in 2000. The Abstracter and Title Agent Operations Survey tracks changes in the title industry, including the number of orders received and the percentage of title issues discovered and repaired prior to closing or escrow, ALTA said. ALTA president Rande Yeager said the most common curative action taken last year was obtaining releases or payoffs for discovered liens, such as prior or existing first or second mortgages, unpaid child and spousal support, outstanding taxes, and other judgments against the property. The next most common actions were obtaining releases for assignments on deeds of trust or mortgages and recording errors of names, addresses, or legal property descriptions, he said. "The booming real estate market over the last several years has increased the number of transactions significantly, which means more title problems are found," Mr. Yeager said. The association can be found online at http://www.alta.org.

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