What is a Lien?

What is a Lien?

A lien is a security interest taken out against a property, most commonly by a lender, but sometimes by other groups. If you have a lien on your property, it typically gives the lien holder the ability to sell it and use the proceeds to pay off the amount of the delinquent loan. Having a lien on a property can seriously affect the marketability of the property's title-- which means it could make it difficult to sell in the future. 

What Are The Most Common Title Issues?

What Are The Most Common Title Issues?

You might already know that a property's title can vulnerable to a variety of different issues-- each which could impact the ability of a future owner to truly 'own' the property and use it as they wish. In this article, we'll review some of the most common problems-- and how title insurance may be able to help protect you against them. 

SBA Loans and Title Insurance

SBA Loans and Title Insurance

The Small Business Administration (SBA), a U.S. government agency, helps insure billions of dollars in loans to small business across the U.S. each year. Much like the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the SBA does not directly loan money to borrowers, it simply insures the loan, which is offered by approved private lenders. In 2014, the SBA insured $20 billion of financing through its most popular loan program, the 7(a) loan. 

What is a UCC Lien Search?

What is a UCC Lien Search?

A UCC lien search is an essential part of the title search process- especially for commercial property closings. UCC lien searches help to determine if a piece of property has any UCC liens against it-- financial obligations secured by creditors that a new owner could be forced to pay. 

Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company

Founded in 1876 in Pennsylvania as the Real Estate Title Insurance Company of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company was the first company to issue a title insurance policy In the United States. Today, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial, which also owns Fidelity National Title Insurance Company. Primarily, Commonwealth provides offerings including title insurance, title searches, escrow, and closing services. 

Stewart Title Guaranty Company

Founded in 1893 in Galveston, Texas, the Stewart Title Guaranty Company is one of the largest subsidiaries of Stewart Information Services Corporation, a Houston-based company focused on providing real estate information, title insurance solutions, and transaction services to a wide variety of clients. Today, Stewart Information Services Corporation has over 6,300 employees, is listed on the S&P 600 index, and is part of the Fortune 1000 list. 

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, founded in 1961, traces its roots back to Western Title Insurance Company, which was founded in 1848. Today, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial, the largest title insurance and escrow services provider in the Untied States. 

Chicago Title Insurance Company

Founded in 1847, the Chicago Title Insurance Company has served clients for over 160 years. It provides services including residential title insurance, commercial title insurance, and timeshare and vacation ownership escrow and protection services. 

Attorney’s Title Insurance Funds, Inc.

From 1948 to 2009, Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund provided title insurance policies througout Florida. While Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund no longer issues new policies, it still adjusts and evaluates claims on existing policies. In 2009, Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund and Old Republic Title worked together to form The Fund, a new title company focused on serving customers in Florida. 

Old Republic National Title Insurance Company

Old Republic National Title Insurance Company, a title insurance and closing services company, was founded in 1907 and is currently headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Old Republic is licensed in all 50 states, and has both company owned offices, affiliates, agents, and approved attorneys who provide its services across the U.S. 

First American Title Insurance Company

First American Title Insurance Company is the largest subsidiary of the First American Financial Corporation, which was founded in 1889 and focuses on providing title insurance, closing, settlement, home warranty, and trust advisory services. First American sells its title services through both affiliates and partners around the United States. 

What is Title?

Title is a collective term for someone's rights to use a piece of land. Often, it's referred to as a "bundle of rights" because it involves a variety of different things-- including the owner's ability to use the land in specific ways, like improving it with structures or utilizing it for a specific business purpose. 

What is an Easement?

An easement is a right for someone else other than the owner to use a property in a specific way. While some easements can be beneficial or necessary for the public good, others can significantly affect the value of a property. For that reason, easements are one of the major potential title issues that are closely reviewed during the title search process. 

What is an Enhanced Title Insurance Policy?

While title insurance policies cover many of the major title risks a property owner might experience, there are still a few important things that they don't cover. To remedy that, title insurers have created something called an enhanced owner's policy-- a more comprehensive form of coverage that can offer property owners an added degree of financial security. 

Do I Need Title Insurance on a Refinance?

If you're refinancing a residential or commercial property, do you still need title insurance? The answer is yes-- since you're effectively paying off your old mortgage with a new loan, your lender will still want to be protected with lender's title insurance policy

What is Adverse Possession?

Adverse possession is the concept in which an individual may, under certain circumstances, be able to take possession of someone else's land after occupying it for a certain period of time. If someone has gained adverse possession over your property, they could potentially acquire the property's title-- even if you didn't even know they were there. 

What is a Mechanic's Lien?

A mechanic's lien is a type of legal claim over a property that allows contractors and subcontractors to potentially foreclose on your property in order to satisfy their debts. Mechanic's liens from previous owners are one of the many potential title issues that can be detected during the title search process, 

What is a Title Search?

A title search is the process of examining documents and records in order to determine the legal history and rightful ownership of a property. A title search is always required before a title insurance company issues a policy, since otherwise, the insurance company could be agreeing to protect a property with serious title issues. 

What is Closing Protection Coverage?

Closing protection coverage is an additional kind of insurance policy that protects a buyer and seller during the closing process. Closing protection coverage can protect against unethical or fraudulent closing or escrow agents, as well as title company errors and omissions. 

What is a Closing Disclosure?

If you're purchasing a home or other residential property, U.S. government regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act's TILA-RESPA rules mandate that you be provided a form called a closing disclosure, which you'll have to sign in order to close the deal. According to federal law, you have the right to see your closing disclosure at least 3 business days before closing.