What is a title? A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is the owner’s right to possess and use and transfer the property.
Why is transferring title to real estate different from transferring to title to personal property, such as a car? Real estate is permanent and can have many owners over the years, as well as rights to use the property. In order to transfer clear title to real property, it is first necessary to determine the rights outstanding on the property.
What is a title search? A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records concerning a property. These records include deeds, mortgages, court records, property and name indexes, taxes and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the property owner’s right to sell or finance the property and to discover any claims or defects to the property.
What kind of problems can a title search reveal? A title search can reveal several types of defects in title, liens, encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, easements, unsatisfied mortgages, judgements against the property owner and restrictions of use or transfer.
What is title insurance? Title insurance is a policy of protection against loss if any of the problems listed above result in a claim against your ownership.
How does title insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise? If a claim is made against your property, title insurance, in accordance with the policy, will assure your legal defense, including paying court costs and related fees. If the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.
What are the different types of title policies? There are two types of title policies- a lender’s policy and an owner’s policy. The lender’s policy protects the lender’s interest in the property as security for the outstanding balance under the buyer’s mortgage. The owner’s policy protects the buyer’s investment in the property up to the face amount of the policy.
At Santillán Law, P.C., we can assist you obtaining the proper level of title insurance, as Approved Agents with First American Title, the nation’s largest title company.