Please skip down the page past these latest news updates to reach my basic blog post. I plan to continue to update this post when I read of interesting stories about title Insurance.
10-18-2017: Getting a mortgage? Don’t get tricked into high title insurance fees. It may have only received just 10-20% of your total fees; the title agent or settlement attorney pocketed the other 80-90%.
4-4-2017: 6 questions to ask about title insurance.
6-6-2015: Title Insurance: A Friend in Deed – Is title company solvent – rated highly – related to lender – and what is covered?
3-30-2014: You can shop and purchase your own title insurance through a couple of websites – www.entitledirect.com or www.onetitle.com. But I would first consult with your mortgage lender and the closing attorney, especially if you are paying cash to understand pros and cons of the insurers. Source: WSJ, 3-29/30, 2014.
10-21-2013: You may need to read your title insurance policy or details of what they do and do not cover. But when do you read the policy? Usually not until after closing. And who picks the title insurance policy? The borrower usually doesn’t – it’s usually a split decision between lender and title closing agent/attorney. Source: http://www.findarealestateattorney.com/Featured-News/2013/Title-Insurance-Commitments-What-You-Need-to-Kno.aspx
4-6-2013: I recently spoke with a reputable title insurance agent who mentioned there are title insurance companies don’t pay or pay if they are sued…and one title company in the Atlanta area used by a major foreclosure attorney office failed to pay on a small claim of unpaid property taxes by a main US bank upon their foreclosure that one of my clients had to pay 3 years later.
3-18-2013: Pay it now or pay it later…Even though there’s an average 80% commission on title insurance for closing attorneys, the closing fees are offset by the sales commission or the closing fees will rise to offset the commission. The sad part is the title insurer can play with commission rates and thereby persuade using profit rather than coverage. Source: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/21644472/cape-real-estate-broker-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-charges
7-14-2012: Here’s a tool to get a quote for Title Insurance from First American Title, but the amount looks like it’s only for loan or purchase because it’s much higher than that in reality – http://facc.firstam.com/Calculator
5-9-2012: Here’s a sorry from Florida on why Title Insurance is valuable but also outlines that the cost hasn’t varied in years. Source: http://staugustine.com/interact/blog-post/stephen-collins/2012-05-08/land-title-blog-real-value-owners-title-insurance
2-8-2012: Another article supporting reasons to buy title insurance: Source: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/real-estate/is_owners_title_insurance_worth_the_cost-138872149.html
4-22-2011: Here’s a list of 76 reasons why title insurance is valuable to a home owner – http://www.theclosingcompany.net/76reason.asp
11-15-2010: WSJ 10-29-2010 C3 – Title insurers will not require blanket indemnification…however, Stewart Title Guaranty Company says they’ll issue title insurance as long as the lender followed all legal processes. How do you know if the attorney does? Also, Fidelity isn’t going to require banks to sign agreements like B of A’s.
11-4-2010: Some title insurers are not writing new policies until the dust settles on all the investigations of foreclosure practices by many banks and financial institutions. Fannie & Freddie are working on an indemnification agreement to serve as a model that may be adopted industry wide and may be similar to the Bank of America agreement with Fidelity National that indemnifies the insurer against any loss resulting from bank errors or misconduct in the foreclosure process. (Oh, isn’t that a comfortable thought that those who helped get us in the mess to begin with is writing rules on other aspects of this industry?)
10-22-2010 update: I heard Ilyce Glink say something about Old Republic Title Company refusing to insure Chase foreclosures, but I am not sure if that’s true or how long the boycott will last. Other title insurers will probably selectively refuse to insure certain foreclosures if certain proof of ownership wasn’t obtained.
====> Here’s my basic blog post <====
Well, that all depends on your level of pain…but I always recommend it. This insurance doesn’t duplicate homeowner’s insurance, but does provide legal assistance, settlement of legitimate claims, and legal protection from non-legitimate suits. It may also protect you with respect to property line boundary disputes. It also protects your up front down payment in case you lose the home and possible any equity interest. (Yes – there was a case where the entire subdivision in Cobb County, Georgia that reverted back to the rightful owner and some people lost their down payment and house.)
Also, lenders are going to require you to purchase Lender’s coverage for them, but your “Owner’s” coverage is totally optional.
A “title search/title examination” is normally performed by the closing attorney for a purchase or refinance to verify a “chain of title” (i.e., title history) is clean and free of any “clouded” (i.e., questionable) liens. In other words, you have “clear” title.
With that said, mistakes when recording document/liens (e.g. income tax, property tax, delinquent HOA dues, contractors, etc,.) are made and you are still accountable to clear the title even if you weren’t responsible for the lien. Some other things that may happen are non-legal previous actions (forged deeds & wills) regarding previous mortgages, liens from unpaid work by contractors, previously unrecorded right of way/easements, or legality of ownership. I have a list of 73 reasons I can send you.
The important point is that there could have been errors or fraud in the past and you would need to enlist legal assistance on your dime unless you have title insurance that covers your protection.
CHICAGO TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY – 601 Riverside Avenue- Jacksonville, FL 32204 – (888) 866-3684
FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY – 601 Riverside Avenue – Jacksonville, FL 32204 – (888) 866-3684
THE FIRST AMERICAN CORPORATION – 1 First American Way – Santa Ana, California 92707 – Toll Free: 800.854.3643 – Local: 714.800.3000
LAND AMERICA FINANCIAL GROUP – 101 Gateway Centre Parkway – Richmond, VA 23235 – Toll Free: (800) 446-7086
OLD REPUBLIC NATIONAL TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY – 400 Second Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401-2499 – (612) 371-1111 (800) 328-4441 (US) (612) 371-1191 FAX
STEWART TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY – 1980 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 800 – Houston, Texas 77056 – Office: 713-625-8100 – Watts: 800-729-1900 – Fax: 713-629-2323
- Married seller who represents himself or herself as single.
- Claims of undisclosed heirs
- Impersonation of owner(s)
- Clerical or recording errors by courthouse clerks
- Incorrect legal description of property
- Previous contracts signed by minors or mentally incompetent persons
- Improperly probated will
- Confusion of title resulting from similar names
- Lost or forged deeds
References to products and services are not a specific endorsement, but the user must perform their due diligence and investigate whether the product or service is right for them.