Also see our Glossary to learn more about common terms used by title companies, lenders, and Real Estate agents.
A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is the owner's right to possess and use and transfer the property.
Real estate is permanent and can have many owners over the years, as well as rights to use the property. In order to transfer clear title to real property, it is first necessary to determine the rights outstanding on the property.
A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records concerning a property. These records include deeds, mortgages, court records, property and name indexes, taxes and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the property owner's right to sell or finance the property and to discover any claims or defects to the property.
A title search can reveal several types of defects in title, liens, encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, easements, unsatisfied mortgages, judgements against the property owner and restrictions of use or transfer.
Title insurance is a policy of protection against loss if any of the problems listed above result in a claim against your ownership.
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance, in accordance with the policy, will assure your legal defense, including paying court costs and related fees. If the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.
There are two types of title policies- a lender's policy and an owner's policy. The lender's policy protect the lender's interest in the property as security for the outstanding balance under the buyer's mortgage. The owner's policy protects the buyer's investment in the property up to the face amount of the policy.
This is a summary of the financial portion of the real estate transaction. The HUD will list the purchase price, loan amount, closing costs for both buyer and seller and show all pro-rations and sums to be disbursed by the title company to all parties.
This is the process of charging either the buyer or seller for their share of real estate taxes owed on the property for their respective time of ownership. Taxes are said to be "pro-rated" back or forward to the due date of the property taxes.
This is interest due from the date of a loan closing to the first day of the following month. Most loans require payments to be due on the first day of the month. Each monthly payment reflects the principle and interest due on the loan for the previous month. A loan closing on the 20th day of the month will require interest adjustment through the 1st day of the following month. The first payment will then be due on the 1st day of the month following. Interest adjustment is considered a settlement charge and will be disclosed on the HUD.