What is Title INSURANCE?

Title insurance is a requirement of virtually every lender before lending money to buy or refinance a home. Typically your realtor, attorney, lender, or other settlement service provider orders your title search and title insurance on your behalf early in the closing process.

Before you purchase your home, it may have gone through several ownership changes, and the land on which it stands probably went through many more. A weak link could emerge to cause trouble at any point in that chain. For example, someone along the way may have forged a signature when transferring a title, or there may be unpaid real estate taxes or other liens or judgments. Title insurance covers the insured party for any claims and legal fees that arise out of such problems, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.


Some common examples of problems covered by title insurance include:

  • Improper execution of documents.
  • Mistakes in recording of legal documents.
  • Mistakes in the indexing of legal documents.
  • Mistakes in legal descriptions of property.
  • Forgeries and fraud.
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs.
  • Unpaid taxes and assessments.
  • Unpaid judgments and liens.
  • Unreleased mortgages.
  • Incorrect interpretation of wills.
  • Mental incompetence of grantors of property.
  • Impersonation of the true owners of the land by fraudulent persons.
  • Fraud in securing essential signatures.

Some common examples of problems covered by an TitleHELP's Homeowner's
     Enhanced Policy include:

  • Post Policy Forgery and Identity Theft.
  • Building Permit Violations of Previous Owners.
  • Violations of Restrictive Covenants.
  • Inability to Access the Property.
  • Zoning Law Violations.

There are two general types of title insurance. One is a lender's policy, issued in the amount of the borrower's mortgage loan. It protects the lender up to the amount of the outstanding balance of the mortgage if a title claim is made. If you are financing the property with a lender they will typically require that you purchase a lender's policy of title insurance. Lenders also require borrowers to purchase title insurance each time they refinance.

The other type of title insurance is an owner's policy that provides coverage up to the purchase price of the property. An owner’s policy is normally purchased with a lender’s policy.

Depending on local custom and/or any agreement made between the buyer and seller of the property, title insurance can be either paid for by the buyer or the seller. In certain areas there are situations where one party will pay for the lender's title policy and the other will pay for the additional amount required to purchase an owner's policy.

If you have any questions about title insurance in general or about how Title Help is different please contact one of our Closing Specialists at 516-882-7104.

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