What is title insurance?
Title insurance consists of an owner’s title policy (for the buyer/borrower) and a mortgagee title policy (if there is a lender). It is issued by a title company in order to protect the parties from any outstanding liens or encumbrances on the property. After a title search is performed, a title commitment is issued which reveals the record owner of the property and lists any outstanding liens and/or judgments that must be cleared prior to closing. Once the title company is able to provide clear title to the property, the parties are able to close and a title insurance policy is issued. The owner’s policy will protect the borrower as long as he/she or his/her heirs own the property. The mortgagee’s policy will protect the lender until the loan is paid in full. In the case of a refinance within seven years of the purchase of a mortgagee policy, the borrower is entitled to a certain discount based on the time elapsed since the purchase of the last title policy.

What are some defects that a title policy will cover?
Even when the most diligent title search is performed, there is a risk of potential hidden defects in title such as: Forgeries, Frauds, False Representation, Lost Wills, Mistakes at Law, Mistakes in Description, Undisclosed Heirs, Clerical Mistakes, Illegal Trusts, and Defective Acknowledgments.

What is the cost of title insurance?
Title insurance rates are regulated by the state and are based upon the sales price and loan amount and therefore vary from transaction to transaction. Typically, the seller will pay for the mortgagee title policy and the buyer will pay for the owner’s title policy, although this is entirely negotiable.

What should I bring to closing?
At closing, each party will need a form of valid picture identification and certified funds in the amount due according to the settlement statement.

Can you mail the documents to me for signing if I am out-of-town or otherwise unavailable?
Absolutely! We will do our best to accommodate your needs and we can send the documents electronically to be signed, notarized and sent back to us overnight via Fedex.

What will we need in order to purchase or sell a property in a company name?
In addition to your Articles of Organization/Incorporation, you may need to provide a corporate resolution stating who has the authority to act and bind the company in such transactions.

What should we do if the buyer or seller is outside of the United States?
Please notify us upon opening title if the buyer or seller is located outside of the United States as it can sometimes take a while to make an appointment for a notary at the United States Embassy in a foreign country.

Is it possible to use a power of attorney in closing a transaction?
Yes, it is possible. However, the following criteria must be met: (1) the form must be reviewed and approved by underwriting counsel; (2) we must have the original form to record in the public records; and (3) we must be able to speak with the person granting the power of attorney, unless he/she is incapacitated.


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