Title Insurance

What is title insurance:

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects against future loss, should title condition be any different than when the policy was written. Title insurance applies the prinicples of insurance to the risks that are present in all real estate transaction. These risks are primarily those of hidden hazards and human error. Title insurance is issued after a complete and thorough title search. And, even when performed by experienced title examiners, a title search is simply a search of public records and substantial defects may not be discovered. So, what does title insurance protect against? To name a few: Mistakes in recording of legal documents. Forged deeds, releases or wills. Undisclosed or missing heors, including spouses. Deeds by persons of unsound mind. Deeds by minors. Deeds executed under invalid or expired power of attorney. Liens for unpaid taxes. Fraud.

There are two types of title insurance policies: a lender's policy (also called a loan policy) and an owner's policy. The lender's policy finanically covers the amount of the loan and provides protection to the lender. An owner's policy protects the landowner and can financially cover the full property value. An owner's policy of title insurance is a contract that protects the buyer, according to the contract terms, against loss or damage due to title defects. This contract is backed by the known assets and reserves of the title insurance underwriter, and serves as a written guarantee that underwriter will undertake, at its own expense, the defense of your title in all legal actions or proceedins alleging the title to be other than as insured. Marketable title is a central part of every residential real estate transaction. As part of my real estate law services to home buyers and home sellers, I guide my clients through the process of obtaining good, clean and marketable title to the property.

Title Insurance from the Buyer's Point of View

When a seller delivers "marketable title" on a property, it means there are no liens or legal judgments against the seller that are "clouding the title." If the property title includes liens or judgments against the seller, then those liens or judgments would become the responsibility of the buyer if the seller did not resolve the liens before passing the title over to the buyer. The wise buyer will make sure to purchase only clear title and avoid taking on financial responsibilities of the seller. Likewise, the wise seller will make sure to have clear title before selling property, to avoid discouraging potential buyers. I review the title commitment report along with my clients, making sure they understand exactly what information is contained in the report and what steps must be taken before the agreement of sale is closed to ensure that the buyer gets clear title to the home.

Title Insurance from the Seller's Point of View

If the title search report reveals that there are unresolved liens or judgments, then I advise my clients on how to best resolve those judgments without standing in the way of a desirable sale.

Contact My Office for Advice on Title Insurance and Other Residential Real Estate Matters

My real estate law services are competitively priced, and I emphasize convenience and cost-effectiveness for all my clients. My schedule is flexible and I have appointments available on weekends and in the evenings. We can meet in person or by telephone, and it may be possible to complete your deal using only the Internet and telephone if you prefer. Before you obtain title insurance or complete a residential real estate agreement in which title is questionable, contact me to discuss how to best protect your financial investment. Call 630.717.4242 or e-mail me using the e-mail form on the Contact Me page.