Q: What is the role of the title company?
A: The title company’s job begins well before settlement. CTG begins with a thorough examination of land records (title search) and court records. We identify and resolve any potential problems in the transaction and clear any judgments and/or liens against the property or parties prior to closing. Simultaneously, CTG obtains all information necessary for closing. This includes communicating with lenders, real estate agents. the buyer/borrower and the seller, the County and the State, along with any Homeowner’s Association or Condominium Association. At settlement, CTG serves as the escrow agent for the transaction. We collect funds; assure monies are disbursed in accordance with the parties’ written instructions, and record any and all legal instruments to ensure that title to the property is properly conveyed. After settlement, we follow up to confirm that all liens or potential liens that were satisfied at closing are released. Finally, CTG issues insurance policies to the Buyer (in a purchase transaction) and/or the Lender.
Q: What types of issues can a title search reveal?
A: A title search can show a number or title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the current or prior owner, and restrictions limiting the use of land.
Q: What is Title Insurance?
A: Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects the insured against loss should any of the issues discussed above result in a claim against your ownership. Unlike other types of insurance that offer protection against future possible occurrences, title insurance offers protection against past occurrences which would result in a claim at a future date. Coverage continues in effect for so long as you have an interest in the covered property. If you should die, the coverage automatically continues for the benefit of your heirs. If you sell your property, giving warranties of title to your buyer, your coverage continues. Likewise, if a buyer gives you a mortgage to finance a purchase of covered property from you, your coverage continues to protect your security interest in the property. Title insurance provides the insured with “peace of mind” in knowing that you are receiving good and marketable title to the real estate you are purchasing.
Q: Why do I need Title Insurance?
A: When you buy a home, or any property, you expect to enjoy certain benefits…to be able to occupy and use that 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 your property or to pledge it as security for a loan. Title insurance is designed to protect these rights. Without an owner’s title insurance policy, you may not be fully protected against errors in the public records or hidden defects not disclosed by public records. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. An owner’s title policy insures that if such an occasion arises, you will be defended, free of charge, against all covered claims and paid up to the amount of the policy to settle valid claims. If I am required to purchase Title Insurance for my Lender, do I also need it? In almost every instance, a lender requires you to purchase lender’s title insurance to protect up to the value of its loan on the property. But this coverage only protects the lender, not you, and the coverage diminishes as the loan is paid off. As you build more equity in the property, you are exposed to a higher risk of loss in the event of a title defect. In this situation the protected lender suffers no loss while you, the owner of record, suffer substantial risk of damage. Owner’s title insurance will protect you. And it will cover against any loss from failure of title up to the full amount of the policy. CTG offers policies that, at no extra cost, could include automatic inflation protection, so that the face amount of the title insurance policy increases by 10% per year for the 1st five years.
Q: How does title insurance protect my investment should a claim arise?
A: If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you a legal defense – plus pay all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of your policy.
Q: How long does my coverage last?
A: For as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property, and in some cases, even beyond. What happens on the day of the closing? On the day of the closing, all of the involved parties and representatives meet at a chosen venue, either at an office or private home, to conduct the closing. The closing is facilitated by the licensed title insurance agent who is there to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have regarding your transaction. Documents are exchanged and the title agent ensures that all of the necessary steps have been completed so that the buyer obtains clear title to the property purchased and the seller receives payment for the property being sold. After all the documents are signed, the title agent records the deed and any mortgage or deed of trust so there is no gap in the chain of title. The “chain” runs from the current owner to the original property owner in order to accurately document all ownership of the property’s history.