Title issues are rampant! Foreclosures not executed correctly, sloppy mortgage recordings, trying to determine who owns the mortgage all contribute to delays in title clearance.
The solution? It would be in everyone's BEST interest that as soon as a home is marketed, the title be searched and resolved. This will lead to FASTER closings. As far as the cost of doing this, the lender holding the mortgage(s) would be best served since a delay in the closing just adds to their lost interest per day by not being able to collect their payoffs. Time is money! The money the lender(s) lose by delays in title clearance far outweighs the cost of searching and clearing the title. While this is being done, the property is being marketed.
So, listing agents, present the idea to the asset manager in control of the property. Being pro-active is good for all parties!