What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is an essential element of any home purchase whether cash or lender financed. Title insurance helps protect your investment in your home. For a one-time fee, title insurance assures marketable ownership of title for the homeowner and then provides insurance protection for as long as you own your property. The title insurance policy for the owner (termed an Owner’s Policy) is typically issued in the amount of the real estate purchase price. Who pays for title insurance is a matter of local custom. In Pennsylvania, the buyer purchases title insurance for the property he is purchasing. It is estimated that closing companies like Settlements, Ltd. discover and cure errors in one out of every three real estate transactions before the buyer ever gets to closing. It ensures that the property you purchase becomes yours without any past title problems or issues. By protecting your investment with title insurance, you are guarding against claims, restrictions on land use or loss of your property. Dating back years, plenty of opportunity exists for a defect to appear on your property’s title, including but not limited to tax liens, forged deeds, open mortgages, common errors in the public records and mistakes made when examining the title, deed challenged as being given under fraud or duress, foreclosure deeds where the appropriate procedures were not followed, deed signed utilizing an invalid power of attorney, misinterpretation of a will, missing heirs not accounted for, errors in tax records, discovery of a later will after probate of first will, deed to land without a right of access to a public street or road, right of access wiped out by foreclosure on neighboring land. When you purchase title insurance, we thoroughly examine the title to the property, thoroughly examine all the public records and remedy outstanding title issues, thus providing you with ownership of your new property. We refuse to close on a property with potential title problems – it is really that simple.
Without title insurance, you could be held responsible for someone else’s mortgage, unpaid back taxes, satisfaction of other liens or be forced to defend your title against third party claimants. Title insurance is a one-time charge at the time of purchase.
For all of these reasons, Settlements, Ltd. refuses to close without the purchase of title insurance.