We provide full and present owner title, mortgage and lien searches, upper court searches, bankruptcy and foreclosure searches, and much more. We are committed to protecting all parties involved – including both buyers and sellers.
We coordinate closing issues and take pride in keeping track of the paperwork that other parties might miss. Our staff works quickly and efficiently to clear title requirements and obtain final closing figures from the lender.
Title insurance, like most insurance, protects against the unexpected. However, title insurance functions differently from conventional insurance, such as health insurance or car insurance, which protect a policyholder from future occurrences. Title insurance protects a property owner from any problems that have occurred in the past, and a policy extends backward indefinitely.
A property title is a formal document which serves as proof that the holder legally owns a specific piece of property. Every transaction regarding ownership of land has been recorded and archived, and in order to transfer a title from a seller to a buyer, the document must be free of any defects which would potentially nullify a new owner’s right to possess the land.
To legally transfer property from a seller to a buyer, a title search must be conducted, for quite a few reasons. If the property has been financed and the debt is still outstanding, a condition known as a lien, a mortgage company can refuse to finance the home for a new owner. Tax liens, if not found prior to the sale, are not automatically removed, and an old debt may be transferred to a new owner.An easement grants others the ability to use property without actually owning it, and such a clause may be overlooked, leading to disputes between the multiple parties involved. Forgeries, heirs of previous owners who claim to have rights to the land – these are just some potential problems with a title which a new owner may face.
While such prospective complications should be documented on a property title, and likely are, there are many records to scrutinize and specifics to examine. It is certainly recommended to conduct a title search whether the property is going to be financed or not, but a lender will require that a title search is conducted in order to discover if the title has any outstanding defects or drawbacks.
It is, unfortunately, possible to identify problems with a title once the sale has already been finalized, at which point, a resolution will likely include lawyers, court, and all of the fees that coincide with those matters. This means the hassle of meetings with attorneys, court appearances, and the worst-case scenario – the loss of property. This is why an extensive title search is conducted prior to the sale of property.
A title insurance company searches government records, and any relevant documents, tracing the history of the land’s ownership. Various searches are conducted by a title insurance company, and examples include:
The prospective new property owner must decide if the property is still worth owning if the search returns any of the above-mentioned defects. If and when these matters are uncovered, it is the potential buyer’s decision to go forward and purchase the property or cancel the deal.
Although a good, thorough search will be conducted, human error is always a possibility. It is conceivable that an investigator may overlook a defect on a title. If such an oversight happens, problems may arise once the new owner already possesses the property. It may then be the new owner’s responsibility to fulfill the previous owner’s obligations. If a ruling was made that outstanding payments be satisfied, the new property owner could have just inherited enormous financial hardship.
While an owner must purchase a separate policy from a lender’s policy, any investment into the property is not protected without it. An owner’s policy assures financial protection against anything that occurred prior to the closing date. A small mistake on a title or a simple oversight can become a significant problem very quickly. A new owner may experience significant financial loss simply because of the lack of an owner’s policy.Owner’s insurance only protects a current owner; even if the previous owner possessed title insurance, the policy only protected that owner. Typically, a lender will require an owner to purchase a policy, but if that is not the case, the owner should buy a policy in order to be protected from potential problems. Owner’s insurance guarantees the policyholder a team of experts and a legal defense should complications arise.
A policy is only purchased once and will remain in effect until the property is sold, at no additional cost. A lender may encourage a buyer to purchase an owner’s policy. However, a lender cannot legally adjust a rate in exchange for the use of a particular insurance company. The owner is free to pick any title insurance company without obligation.