Complimentary RPTE member only, non-CLE Teleconference recorded on March 8, 2016
Purchasers of real property, including lenders who take mortgages, are bound not only by prior interests enumerated in the public records (“record notice”) and by interests that they actually know about, but also by off-record interests for which they have inquiry notice. The doctrine of inquiry notice can be especially difficult to grasp, both in determining when a duty to inquire further is triggered and how far a buyer must go to satisfy her obligation to conduct a reasonably prudent investigation. Inquiry notice doctrine exists to protect the property rights of persons holding prior-in-time interests not fully or perfectly shown by the public records. Often those interests are legitimate, with substantial reasons why their holders merit protection. Yet, if invoked too frequently or if it creates duties of lengthy and costly investigation, inquiry notice can create inefficiencies or even stymie altogether beneficial transactions.
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