Rabb and others introduce legislation untangling real estate titles 

HARRISBURG, May 13 – State Reps. Chris Rabb, Donna Bullock and Joe Hohenstein, all D-Phila., introduced legislation that would untangle real estate titles.

An unclear or “tangled” title occurs when a property deed bears the name of someone other than the apparent owner or occupant. This most commonly happens when the recorded owner dies and a relative inherits the property but fails to record a new deed.

“A tangled title makes it difficult, if not impossible, to sell the property, take out a home equity loan, obtain homeowner’s insurance, or participate in local home repair programs,” Rabb said. “This increases the risk of a property’s deterioration and foreclosure, and resolving a tangled title can be tedious and expensive. With this legislation we want to fast track this process and make it easier for folks to deal with real estate titles. “

Rabb also stressed that this legislative package addresses the enduring racial wealth gap that plagues our nation due to the unnecessary loss of such family assets.

“Making this process easier by untangling real estate titles will help Black families, who often are most harmed by this issue, hold onto these assets,” he said.

Rabb plans on introducing two bills to address this issue:

The first bill will establish the Unclear Title Grant Fund and appropriate $50,000,000 to provide grants to a public legal aid entity to cover the administrative, legal, and other costs associated with resolving a tangled title. This program will also advertise that help is out there to solve these complex issues. 
The second bill will waive the probate fee for low-income heirs which is based on the value of the estate, which is no less than $475.