LandtitleUSA offers many different products for your real estate needs. We offer reports to attorneys, lenders, loan servicers, developers and any others needing to know information relating to property. To browse our products, use the navigation menu on the right.
A Title Report is a non-insurance product. The Title Report provides the result of an investigation of title to a specific piece of property including but not limited to: current ownership, restrictions, easements, encumbrances, liens, and any other items affecting the property under examination.
A Lien Search provides the current ownership of a property and any liens which may affect the property. An estimate for the report can be provided and an invoice will accompany the delivery of this report.
Nothing Further Certificate
A Nothing Further Certificate ("NFC") is a product that lists each document filed against a particular property from a point in time forward. We search both the property and name indices to determine what documents have been filed since that date. The fee for this report varies, depending on the type of property and county. An estimate for the report can be provided and an invoice will accompany the delivery of this report.
Chances are the purchase of real estate is the largest single investment you will ever make. The loss of such an important investment would be catastrophic. It pays to be certain that the person selling the property has the ownership rights you think you are buying, but that is not always easy to determine.
An owner's rights to property - which often involve family and heirs - are sometimes obscure. There may be other parties (such as government agencies, lenders or private contractors) who also have rights to the property in the form of outstanding claims. How can you be sure you will be the true owner of the property you are buying? The answer: purchase a Title policy.
What is "Title" and Why do I need to Insure it?
When you buy a piece of land, you don't get handed the piece of land -- you are given title. Title is the owner's right to possess and use the property. In addition, there are many uses for land and rights can be given or sold for such uses. Someone other than the person you think of as owner of the property itself may own mineral, air, or utility rights on the property. A bank with a mortgage on the property has a lien against the property, as does someone who has done work on the house and filed a lien against it. The government may also have liens against the property for unpaid taxes, and the city may have an easement giving it the right to string utility lines across the front yard.
How does a Title Search Help?
A title search will reveal many of these potential problems. A title search is done by examining public records to look up the history of property ownership. A title search is a diligent search of all records relating to the property to determine whether the owner is authorized to sell the property and whether there are any claims against it. The title search shows not only limitations on the use of the property and rights others may have in the property, but also liens or monetary obligations that are outstanding against the property. If any defects in title are discovered during the title search, the seller usually has time to cure the defect.
What is Title Insurance?
Most people are familiar with the kinds of insurance that covers events that have not yet happened -- automobile liability insurance, medical insurance, life insurance are examples of such policies. Usually, these policies exclude events that occur before the date the policy is issued. In other words, you cannot get life insurance on someone who has already died, and you will not find an insurance company willing to give you insurance coverage for a car accident that has already occurred. Title insurance, on the other hand, covers events relating to the title that have already happened. It does not cover anything that happens to the title after the date of issuance. If you have liens filed against the property for taxes that you didn't get around to paying, your title insurance policy is not going to help you. But, if the lien is for taxes not paid by someone who owned the house eighty years ago, then you may have coverage under your title policy.
Before offering to issue a title insurance policy, a title company will do a title search to learn whether there are any problems or limitations with the title. Problems such as deeds, wills, and/or trusts that contain improper vesting and incorrect names, outstanding mortgages, judgments, and tax liens, easements, or incorrect notary acknowledgments are generally found through the title search and usually can be cleared up before the closing on the property. When these problems are not cleared they will often be listed as exceptions to the policy's coverage. You would then need to decide whether the property is still something you want to purchase given the known problems with the title.
What Title Problems can Arise?
Examples of problems that can arise after you purchase your property include fraudulent acts by prior owners -- such as forged documents that transfer no title to the real estate, forged mortgages, or forged satisfactions or releases of mortgages, impersonation of the true owners of the land by fraudulent persons, and/or instruments executed under expired or fabricated power of attorney. In addition, the deed may have been executed by someone who forgot to get divorced before he remarried, who forgot he got divorced and has inherited the property as the surviving spouse, or who forgot that he already sold the property to another purchaser who is now in possession of the property. Or perhaps you have acquired perfectly good title to a piece of property for which there is no legal access.
Other problems that may occur include execution of the deed by someone who is a minor or otherwise not competent, mistakes in public records or mistakes in recording the legal documents. Such mistakes can include defective acknowledgement due to lack of authority of notary; descriptions that appear to be, but are not, adequate; erroneous location of an ancient pipe or sewer line which does not follow the route of a granted easement; invalid, suppressed, undisclosed and erroneous interpretations of wills; previously undisclosed heirs with claims to the property; tax titles which are invalid because of irregularity in the proceeding; liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes and/or special assessments which become liens can also impact on the use and enjoyment of your property.
Title Insurance Coverage and Claims
Although the events that cause these types of problems happened before you purchased the property, a good title insurance policy will provide coverage for the consequences of these events as they affect your ownership of the property.
There are two types of policies available, a lender's policy and an owner's policy. Your lender will require that you obtain a lender's policy. The lender requires this because the loan is made with the property as security. Any defect in the title of the property affects the value of the lender's security. Because the lender is only interested in protecting its security, the lender's policy only covers the amount of the loan.
But this type of policy only protects the lender's interest. It does not protect you. That's why you need an owner's policy. The owner's policy can be issued at the same time as the loan policy for a nominal one-time fee. By obtaining a separate owner's title insurance policy, protection continues for as long as you or your heirs own the insured property, and without any additional fee.
In the event that there is a claim against your rights of ownership in the property, your title insurance company will cover the cost and fees associated with defending against the title claim. The policy will also cover, up to the face amount, any loss of title or the cost of perfecting the title.
LandtitleUSA, Inc. is committed to providing the best service possible to our customers who are selling, buying or refinancing as our customers negotiate their way through the many, and often complex, steps involved in their real estate transactions. Our offices are staffed with highly trained, motivated and experienced professionals who efficiently handle and close real estate transactions, while making the experience pleasurable for everyone involved. In addition, LandtitleUSA, Inc. is fully automated with state of the art systems, which improves efficiency and speeds up the closing process. Our team at LandtitleUSA, Inc. takes pride in offering quality, reliable, accurate and personal services. We look forward to building a strong working relationship with you.
The title commitment is an offer to issue a title policy. The commitment provides the terms and conditions on which the title company will be issuing a title policy. The commitment is produced after the title company has received a fully executed sales contract or when the company can expect that a policy of title insurance will be issued. The commitment provides the status of title, lists any title issues and defects found by the examiner that need to be cured prior to closing, and provides a list of other conditions that will need to be satisfied prior to the issuance of a title policy.