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Title Insurance FAQ

It is an insurance policy that protects the insured against loss should the condition of title to the land be other than as insured. Unlike other types of insurance that offer protection against future possible occurrences, title insurance offers protection against past occurrences which could result in a claim at a future date. Coverage continues in effect for so long as you have an interest in the property being covered. 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.

 

Buying a new home is one of life’s most gratifying experiences. As you approach the big day of closing, however, all the details can be a little overwhelming. You might easily overlook the single most important step in the entire process — the purchase of Title Insurance on the wonderful new home of yours.

 

A title is the evidence, of right, that a person has to the ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner as to its use.

 

Most definitely! Title insurance is a means of protecting yourself from financial loss in the event that problems develop regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

 

Any number of problems that remain undisclosed after even the most meticulous search of public records can make a title defective. These hidden “defects” are dangerous indeed because you may not learn of them for many months or years. Yet they could force you to spend substantial sums on a legal defense, and still result in the loss of your property.







Yes. There are some “hidden hazards” that even the most diligent title search may not reveal. For instance, a previous owner could have incorrectly stated his marital status resulting in a possible claim by his legal spouse. Other hidden hazards include fraud, forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names, and clerical errors in the City/County land records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership in part or full.







Not necessarily. There are two types of Title Insurance. Your lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender’s Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. Most lenders require this type of insurance, and typically require the borrower to pay for it.

An Owner’s Policy on the other hand is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. Title troubles, such as improper estate proceedings or pending legal action, could put your equity at serious risk. If a valid claim is filed, in addition to financial loss up to the face amount of the policy, your owner’s title policy covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

 

The one-time premium is directly related to the value of the home. Typically, it is less expensive than your annual auto insurance. It is a one-time only expense, paid when the home is purchased. Yet it continues to provide complete coverage for as long as you or your heirs own the property.







Call Provo Land Title as soon as you and the seller sign the earnest money contract. With a brief summary of the details, our team of title experts will begin a search of the public records and issue a title commitment. Because there are a number of steps we must take to make certain that we know all we can about the title, it is wise to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

This is a summary of the financial portion of the real estate transaction. The title company or closing agent is required by the Department of Housing & Urban Development to use the HUD-1 on virtually all one-family to four-family residential real estate transactions involving a lender. The statement will list the purchase price, loan amount, closing costs for the buyer and seller, and will show all sums being charged and disbursed to the parties involved. It also clearly summarizes the total amount due from the purchaser.

 

Yes, Provo Land Title and its agents act as a central clearinghouse for the parties involved — collecting necessary documents, insuring adherence to the lender’s title instructions, making arrangements for proper payment and distribution of funds. We are fully prepared to work with you from the beginning of your transaction all the way through to conclusion.








You will want to have these items complete or in hand when you come to the closing (please confirm first with your escrow officer):


 

Buyer’s copy of purchase agreement

Cashier’s check(s) to make all payments

Proof of purchase of insurance for fire, casualty, etc.

Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities or assessments

Photo identification (passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card)

 

Seller’s copy of purchase agreement

Invoices for any unpaid taxes, utilities, assessments, and latest utilities meter readings

Receipts for last payment of interest on mortgages

Bill of Sale of personal property covered by the purchase agreement

Any unrecorded instruments that affect the title

Proof of satisfaction of any mechanics’ liens, chattel mortgages, judgments, or mortgages that were paid prior to the closing

Photo identification (passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card)

 

The need for title insurance arose historically from the fact that traditional methods of conveying real property did not provide adequate safety to the parties involved. Until a century ago, transferring title to real property was handled primarily by conveyancers, who were responsible for all aspects of the transaction. The conveyancer conducted a title search to determine the ownership rights of the seller and any other rights, interests, liens or encumbrances that might exist with respect to the property, and, based on its search, provide a signed abstract (or description) of the status of the title. Although the conveyancer was generally not a lawyer, that individual was recognized as an authority on real estate law. The origin of title insurance is directly traceable to the limited protection that the work of such a conveyancer provided to the purchaser of real property.

In 1868, the celebrated case of Watson v. Muirhead (57 Pa. 161) was filed in Pennsylvania. In that case, Muirhead, a conveyancer, had searched and abstracted a title for Watson, the purchaser of a parcel of real property. In good faith and after consulting an attorney, Muirhead chose to ignore certain recorded judgments and to report the title as good and unencumbered. On the basis of Muirhead’s abstract, Watson went ahead with the purchase, but was subsequently presented with, and required to satisfy, the liens that Muirhead had concluded were not impairments to title. Watson sued Muirhead to recover his losses, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that there was no negligence on the conveyancer’s part and dismissed the case. Watson, an innocent purchaser who had suffered financial damages because of the encumbrances on his title, had no recourse.

The decision of Watson v. Muirhead demonstrated clearly that the existing conveyancing system could not provide total assurance to purchasers of real property that they would be safe and secure in their ownership. As a result of that decision, the Pennsylvania legislature shortly thereafter passed an act “to provide for the incorporation and regulation of title insurance companies.” The first title company was founded in Philadelphia in 1876.

This new type of insurance (called “title insurance”), addressed the concerns raised in Watson v. Muirhead by providing: (1) responsibility without proof of negligence; (2) financial protection through a reduction of the risk of insolvency; and (3) the assumption of risks beyond those disclosed in the public records (for which the abstractor was not liable).

Since the late 1800s, the title insurance industry has grown to where it now is; an essential component in an overwhelming majority of real estate transactions in this country. The services provided by the title insurers may vary somewhat from one area of the country to the other, reflecting the different laws, customs and procedures of the various states and counties throughout the nation. But the essential purpose of these services is the same – to assist all of the parties in real estate transactions by ensuring that the acquisition or transfer of an interest in real estate can be effected with a maximum degree of efficiency, security and safety.

 

 

Information courtesy of Old Republic Title Co.

 
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