What is an “independent title agency”?
Being “independent” means we’re not affiliated with or controlled by a third party, such as a real estate company, mortgage lender, or title insurance underwriter. This allows us to pursue what’s in your best interest as our client.
Title agencies that have an affiliation with a firm that has a substantial financial interest in the outcome of the transaction by default will favor the interests of their affiliate over yours.
Do I really need title Insurance?
Purchasing a home is one of the largest and most important investments you’re likely to make.
Title Insurance is a means of protecting yourself and your lender from financial loss in the event that problems are uncovered regarding the rights to ownership of your property.
Considering title insurance is a one-time purchase that stays with you as long as you or your heirs own the home and is likely one of you most expensive investments, obtaining title insurance just makes sense to protect your investment and ensure you have a team of professionals that can assist you in defending your title and navigating the necessary steps should a cloud on title arise.
What are Lender’s and Owner’s Policies?
Also known as “mortgagee policy”, if you are using a lender to purchase your new home, your lender will require you to purchase a “Lender’s Policy” in order to complete your loan.
This policy covers the lender for the costs of its legal defense and protects the lender if there is a failure of title or if the status (priority) of their lien is different than expected.
Lender’s title insurance protects the lender up to the amount of the outstanding balance of the mortgage.
In addition, it protects the lender from title issues that may not have been found in the public records, such as documents executed via fraud or forgery. Typically, the home buyer can’t get a mortgage loan unless they purchase the lender’s title insurance for the lender.
What can make the Title to my home defective?
There are a number of possible hidden “defects” associated with the title of a property that may not be discovered until months or years later.
These hidden “defects” are problematic because they could force you to spend substantial sums on a legal defense and still result in a potential lawsuit, significant financial loss, or even the loss of your property.
- Improper Estate transfers
- Improper execution of documents
- Mistakes in recording legal documents
- Divorce disagreements or marital liens
- Past bankruptcy filings
- Federal or State Tax Liens
- Forgeries and fraud
- Undisclosed or missing heirs (including divorces of previous owners of the home)
- Unpaid judgments and liens from past owners
- Unreleased mortgages from past owners
- Mental incompetence of grantors on the deed