Protecting Your Home with Title Insurance
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The biggest investment you will make in your life will probably be the purchase of a home. So before you close, you need to be sure that that nobody else has a claim to the property.
Determining that your rights and interests to the property are clear is the business of a title insurance company.
For a modest, one-time title insurance premium, you will receive continuous title insurance protection equal to the purchase price of the property or its current market value.
The title insurance company performs an extensive search on the property's title history. The title company can almost always identify any title problems and have these problems cleared-up prior to closing.
Because Real Estate Law is so complex, you need an expert to make sure that all previous transactions have been correct, so you don't end up with legal problems or a problem with the title to your property. Your title insurance owner's policy will describe the property and outline the limitations on your ownership. It will also cover what the title insurance company is responsible for. Typically your title insurance will protect you in the following cases:
- Contested title — This usually happens when someone who owned or even lived in the home before you claims to still hold an interest. If this happens, the title company will defend the title and will cost you nothing.
- Defective title — This is a general term for a legal problem with the title that cannot be corrected and includes "contested title" above. Other examples of title defects include problems with legal access to the property, easements that make the property less usable, unusable, or unsaleable. Any number of other complicated problems define "Defective title" or "Clouded Title." The title insurance policy will protect you from these errors if the title company misses them.
Ashok Lakshmanan can walk you through the pitfalls of getting a mortgage. Give us a call: 630-717-3600.