Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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Purchasing a home is likely the single largest investment you will make in your lifetime. So before you close, you need to know that no one else can claim the property.
A title 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.
You pay the title insurance company a single premium which includes the cost of verifying clear title and covers you in case some fault is later discovered in the title.
The title insurance company performs an extensive search on the title history of the property. Through its research, the title insurance company can almost always identify any title problems that may arise and clear up these problems before you close on the property.
Because Real Estate Law is so complex, 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 selling 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 at no expense to you.
- Defective title — This is a general term for a legal problem with the title that cannot be corrected and includes "contested title" above. Other examples of title defects include problems with legal access to the property, easements that make the property less usable, unusable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complicated problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title company will find these problems, or if they miss them, protect you from financial loss - up to the amount of the policy.
At Real Property Finance, we answer questions about this process every day. Give us a call: 310-379-5997.
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