Here is where you can get a lot of answers to questions you may have, or may not have known you have. If there’s something missing here, let us know – maybe we can turn it into an article for everyone!
The short answer is: whoever is buying the title insurance. Surprisingly, this varies from region to region. Here in southwest Ohio and northern Kentucky, the buyer gets to choose – and then will hopefully write it into their purchase contract.
A “title” is basically three things:
a. Rights and interests that are disclosed in the public records or by physical inspection of the property, i.e., deeds, mortgages, leases, etc., parties in possession, utility easements, etc.
b. Rights and interests that are not recorded but exist, i.e., limitations imposed by laws and statutes, etc.
and c. Rights and interests that are hidden, i.e., forgeries, secret marriages and unknown heirs.
It is insurance against undisclosed problems with the title – something that may not have been discovered in your title search such as forgery and fraud. If you are borrowing money from a lender, you are probably required to buy a policy for them. If you spend just a bit more and buy an owner’s policy for yourself, it protects you against financial loss due to title defects, liens or other matters of public record. Title insurance will defend you against a lawsuit attacking your title, or reimburse you for the actual money lost. Before a policy is issued, we conduct in-depth research to detect, prevent, and minimize risks and losses caused by title problems. We do this by searching public records to develop and document the chain of title to the property and by identifying all outstanding claims. Our underwriter is Old Republic National Title Insurance Company – one of the largest and soundest in the nation!
Some examples for you to consider:
- Someone said they were the owner of the land, but they are not.
- Forged title documents, basic errors in tax records, people who claim to have “power of attorney” who really don’t, heirs missing or not disclosed in title
- documentation, deeds from a bigamous couple, or deeds delivered after the death of one of the people involved, without the pre-written consent of the deceased.
- Mistakes were made in recording legal documents.
- It is discovered that a will is not legally valid.
- A deed is to, or from, a defunct corporation.
- Wills were misinterpreted.
- Deeds were made by people of unsound mind.
- Deeds were made by minors.
- Deeds were made by non-citizens.
- Erroneous reports were furnished by tax officials.
- Estates were executed with key people absent.
- There is an undisclosed divorce of a spouse who claims to be an heir or a spouse who is supposedly, but not legally, divorced from someone involved in the proceedings.
- Children were born or adopted after the date of a will that involved the property.
- Surviving children were omitted from a will that involved the property.
- Title records were falsified.
- Creditors made claims against a property that was sold by heirs or other people named in a will.
- Deeds were made under duress as a last option to foreclosure.
- Easements (limited rights for other parties to use the land) exist that were not located by a survey.
- A deed incorrectly identifies public property as private property.
- Representations on legal documents (e.g., Notary seals) are invalid or incorrect.
- The property was condemned but there is no official record of the condemnation.
Don’t panic. Many people don’t know this, but you can purchase title insurance at ANY TIME! Contact us so we can give you the details you need.
Buyer and Seller Each Brings:
Certified funds or personal check (see below) to make all their payments (and maybe your checkbook, just in case).
Photo identification (passport, driver’s license, or state-issued identification card).
It’s as easy as that.
- A General Warranty Deed conveys marketable title and all the grantor’s right, title and interest to the grantees.
- A Limited Warranty Deed conveys marketable title from the grantor and that he/she does warrant and will defend the same to the grantee. He/she makes NO promises so far as the former owners of the property.
- A Quit-Claim Deed conveys whatever interest a grantor has to the grantee. He/she makes NO representations as to title.