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FAQs

What Is Title Insurance?
What Do I Bring to Closing?
Why Do I Need Title Insurance?
How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?
What Should I Expect at Closing?

What Is Title Insurance?

A title is the evidence that verifies one has right to possession of land. Title insurance plays a major role in making certain that your home ownership is free and clear of any rights or claims of prior owners. Title insurance protects the homeowner and the mortgage lender from potential risks associated with defects in title.

There are two kinds of title insurance: Owner's and Lender's.

Owner's Coverage is issued at the time the buyer purchases the property. Coverage is paid based upon the purchase price or the loan amount, whichever is greater. Coverage will last as long as the buyer or the buyer's heirs have an interest in the property. However, an owner's policy is not issued when you refinance.

Lender's or Mortgagee's Coverage protects the lender's investment in the property. However, this policy insures the lender against title defects that may affect the security of the mortgage loan - not the buyer's investment. The lender's title insurance policy is based on the amount of the mortgage and it decreases as the mortgage is paid off. Even if the lender has a title policy, the buyer still needs an owner's title policy to protect his/her interest.

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What Do I Bring to Closing?

Buyer:
1. Photo identification for all parties involved in the transaction.
2. A cashier's check or a certified check for any balances due at settlement.
3. Proof of fire insurance and policy payment receipt.

Seller:
1. Photo identification for all parties involved in the transaction.
2. A current mortgage payment statement.
3. All warranties on home equipment and appliances which will remain in the house.
4. Certifications of all inspections and requirements as stated in the Agreement of Sale.
5. Your keys, properly identified.

Refinance Borrower:
1. Photo identification for all parties involved in the transaction.
2. A cashier's check or a certified check for any balances due at settlement.
3. A current mortgage payoff statement for every loan against the property.
4. Written proof that all of your prepaid escrows, like property taxes, water and sewer taxes, are current to the day of the settlement.
5. Copies or originals of all special conditions required by your lender. (Example: current pay stubs, termite certification)
6. Proof of fire insurance with a paid receipt for the policy. Insurance coverage must be in the amount of the loan or greater.

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Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

Title insurance is necessary to protect against those risks which are present in all real estate transactions. Hidden hazards, which cannot be detected in the examination of title, can be forgery, incompetence of grantor or mortgagor, fraud, unknown heirs, impersonation, prior taxes or liens. And these are just to name a few.

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How Much Does Title Insurance Cost?

Title insurance is directly related to the value of the property. The higher its value, the more coverage is needed. The premium is small compared to the total purchase price. The premium is paid only once and remains in force for as long as the property is owned by the insured.

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What Should I Expect at Closing?

Many people may attend the closing: the buyer and their real estate agent, a loan officer, the seller (or builder) and their real estate agent and your settlement officer.

During the meeting, which usually takes about an hour, the buyer and the seller review all of the relevant closing papers, many of which must be signed. Then after the buyer provides a cashier's or certified check for the down payment and closing costs, the keys are passed to the buyer and the proceeds are given to the seller.

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