What is title?
Title evidences ownership of property, which precludes others from claiming ownership of the property. In real property, title is evidenced by a deed, judgment of distribution from an estate or other appropriate document recorded in the public records of the jurisdiction.
Are there various ways to hold title to a property?
Title can be held as a sole owner, joint tenants, tenants in common or as tenants by the entirety.
What is the role of a title company?
The job of a title company begins well before the settlement occurs. Title companies settle real estate transactions in accordance with instructions from parties to the transaction, and they write insurance policies that insure title to the property. We begin with a thorough search of land records, court records and tax records, as well as a review of plats and location drawings. We identify and resolve any problems in the transaction and clear all judgments and/or liens on the property or parties. We ensure close coordination between the realtors, buyers, sellers and lenders.
At settlement, we may serve as the escrow agent for the transaction. We collect funds, oversee the execution of loan and transfer documents, disburse funds pursuant to lender’s instructions and record all necessary legal documents.
After settlement, we ensure that all liens are properly released and issue the owner’s and/or lender’s title insurance policies. What to Expect at Settlement
What is title insurance?
A title insurance policy is your best protection against potential title defects, which can remain hidden despite an exhaustive search of public records. For example, defects may result from fraud that is not revealed in the public record. There are two types of policies: the lender’s policy, which protects the lender’s interest in the property, and the owner’s policy, which protects the owner and his/her heirs. Title Insurance differs from other types of insurance in that it protects the insured from loss that may have occurred from matters or defects from the past. A Guide to Title Insurance
Why do I need title insurance?
A title search is limited to public records so there is a possibility of “hidden risks.” Some examples of hidden risks include fraud in connection with the execution of documents, false impersonation, forgery, incorrect representation of marital status, undisclosed or missing heirs, conveyance by a minor, mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts, errors in indexing of public records and liens for unpaid taxes. Title insurance protects your rights to occupy and use the property as you wish, to be free from debts or obligations not created or agreed to by you and to be able to freely sell or pledge your property as security for a loan. Why You Need Owner's Title Insurance, ALTA Homeowner's Policy
How does title insurance differ from other types of insurance?
Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you from loss that may occur from matters or defects from the past. Other types of insurance, such as health or life insurance, cover you against loss that may occur in the future.
How does title insurance protect my investment should a claim arise?
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance, in accordance with the terms of your policy, will assure you of a legal defense plus pay all court costs and related fees. In addition, if the claim is valid, you will be reimbursed for your loss up to the face amount of your policy.