Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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The biggest investment you will make in your life will probably be the purchase of a home. Before you close, you'll want to know that no other individual or entity has a right, lien or claim to the property.
A title insurance company does all the research to insure that a property has clear title. Making sure that a property is clear of all legal encumbrances is the job of a title company.
For a modest, one-time title insurance premium, you will receive continuous title insurance protection equal to the purchase price of the property or its current market value.
The title company performs an extensive search on the title history of the property. The title company can usually identify any title problems and have these problems cleared-up before you close on the property.
Because Real Estate Law is so complicated, you need an expert to make sure that all previous transactions have been correct, so you don't end up with legal problems or a problem with the title to your property. Your title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline the limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title company is responsible for. Typically your title insurance will protect you in the following cases:
- Contested title — Someone, usually a previous owner or occupant, claims they still own the property or have not given up their claim. If this happens, the title insurance company will defend your title and will cost you nothing.
- Defective title — This is a general term for a legal problem with the title that cannot be corrected and includes "contested title" above. Defects are rare, but they can be very difficult, making the property inaccessible, unbuildable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complicated problems define "Defective title." The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company misses them.
At F&T Mortgage, Inc. NMLS # 168839 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org), we answer questions about this process every day. Call us: 214-300-8756.