When You Find A Writ On Title

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Land Title Writs In Alberta

Alberta adopted the land titles Torrens System in 1887. At its most basic, it means that the Alberta government guarantees the registrations on title. For example, that the registrations accurately reflect the true nature of ownership and encumbrances. When buying or selling real estate, people need to understand the nature and impact of the registrations on title. One such registration are land title Writs. Read below for more information on Writs. If you need further help, please contact either our Calgary or Edmonton office. Kahane Law Office’s real estate lawyers and litigation lawyers provide the information, understanding and help people need when they need it.

What Is A Land Title Writ?

A Writ is a document issued by a judge or a court. Technically the full term is a Writ of Enforcement. The issuance occurs after a party successfully wins in court. Generally, it orders someone to do something or to stop doing something. In the case of land title Writs, they most frequently represent situations where a person wins in court, and the order rules that someone must pay money to another individual. In order to enforce the order, a successful party needs to secure their judgment.

A frequent source of equity to enforce against is a person’s home. By registering the Writ on title to the property, the Writ holder “announces to the world” that they have an interest in the property. It protects against someone else claiming an in interest in advance of the Writ holders. If you see such a registration on title, you know that the land owner lost in court and actually has an obligation as ruled by the court.

What Impact Does The Writ Have?

The most important impact that land title Writs have, is that they prevent a party from selling, refinancing or securing other interests in the property. Technically, land owner / debtor may do any of those things. However the person taking the new interest, takes the interest subject to the Writ. Effectively, this means that if the land owner sells the home, or refinances it, the writ holder is paid out from any such proceeds.

While land title Writs often allow for the forced sale of the property, most often the cost and effort is daunting. In these situations, the Writ holder may opt to just wait for the land owner to sell the home, or for their mortgage to be renewed or refinanced. Most often, this necessitates the paying out of the debt.

How Writs Differ From Certificates Of Lis Pendens

A significant difference exists between claiming an interest in property and actually having an interest in property. A Certificate of Lis Pendens, is a registration on title that indicated a person claims an interest in property. They person may not have an actual interest in the property. While the registration on title requires attention when selling or refinancing a property, it remains only a claim. Conversely, a land title writ demonstrates that the person claiming an interest, has a actual court order. Subject to an appeal, this means that the courts identified the interest is real.

Discharging Land Title Writs

In law, several approaches exist for discharging land title writs. Most depend on the factual situation. Our real estate litigation legal team helps you determine the best way to do so. For example, the following include ways to secure a discharge of a Writ.

Payment In Full

The fastest and easiest mechanism to discharge the land title Writ includes making payment in full of the debt owed under the registration. If a person has the resources, payment is easy. In other situations, payment frequently comes from the sale or refinancing of the property. If paying in full, it is critical for the debtor to ensure that proper arrangements are made for the discharge of the instrument. Please see below for more information on the discharge process.

Negotiated Settlement

Winning a judgement is one thing. Securing payment is another. Sometimes a land title writ holder agrees to take a reduction on the amount owed in order to secure fast payment of the debt. In other situations, the debtor’s financial situation prevent full payment of the debt owing under the court order. A Writ holder may agree to accept the full net sale proceeds or a portion of them, in order to discharge the registration on title.


In Alberta, almost all court orders include a legal appeal option. This means that once courts issue such orders, allowing the registration of the land title Writs, the land owner may apply to the court to appeal the original decision. Discuss with your lawyer the likelihood of success of an appeal of the original order or matter. If successful, the law requires the removal of the registration on title.

Provision Of Alternate Security

When a debtor has other resources, alternative security to the land title Writ holder sometimes allows for the discharge of the Writ. Most frequently, this process occurs by consent. However, other times the debtor applies to the court for this arrangement.

The Discharge Of  Land Title Writs Document

The actual document to discharge a land tile Writ is simple and straightforward. It simply states that the creditor listed on title, discharges the registration. The Alberta Land Titles office charges a nominal fee for the registration of the Discharge of Writ of Enforcement document.

Getting The Help You Need With Land Title Writs

Whether you need to secure your interest in property or you need to have a land title Writ discharged from your property, our Edmonton and Calgary lawyers provide the help you need. Failing to address them, most frequently leads to further legal problems. For the legal help you need please call or email our lawyers. Email is often the quickest way for us to get back to you and provide you with some information. However, we enjoy speaking to people as well. Please feel free to email us directly anytime here. Alternatively, we look forward to speaking to you in Calgary at 403-225-8810. For people living in Edmonton or the Edmonton area, please call (780) 571-8463.