Learn About Title Insurance

You have found a piece of property that you want to buy, and that’s wonderful. Before you fully commit to your purchase, it’s important to recognize that your property has a legal and financial history, which can potentially affect you during your period of ownership.

At Security Title, we inspect your property’s past history of ownership, before you finalize your purchase. We identify problems and resolve issues, so that you can be certain that you’re purchasing a clear Title for your property. We then insure your property with Title Insurance, so that you continue to be protected from claims and challenges to your legal ownership for as long as you have an interest in the property.

Title Examination: The Chain of Title

A property’s history of ownership begins with a transfer out of an original source, such as a government deed. Owners then transfer, or convey, the property to subsequent owners, often by selling their property or bequeathing the property to beneficiaries.

When these owners transfer a specific piece of property, they transfer “title,” or legal rights to own and possess that property. Each transfer is a link in the Chain of Title, and at Security Title, we inspect each link for potential problems. We carefully examine wills, deeds, and other legal documents on public record that were used in the conveyance of the property, to confirm that each transfer is sound.

During this process, we may find simple mistakes, such as misspelled names or lot numbers in the public record. We may also discover larger problems in the deeds, or issues concerning the family members of past owners who could claim an interest in the property. We work hard to clarify and correct these problems where possible, and resolve issues that emerge, so that you can be sure that your property will be conveyed to you free of claims from past ownership.

Title Examination: Financial Issues

It’s important that you’re not held liable for a past owner’s financial obligations. During the title examination, we look for previous unpaid mortgages and liens, which are claims on the property that occur when a past owner’s financial obligations remain unmet. Examples of liens include unpaid taxes, obligations due from court judgments, and nonpayment to vendors who performed work on the property. We also search for any pending court cases that involve the property.

By alerting you to financial complications attached to the property, and working to resolve those issues before your final purchase, we make certain that you don’t incur expenses that originated long before your ownership.

Title Examination: Physical Property Issues

A past owner’s improvements on a piece of property may violate zoning ordinances and legal boundaries, and require corrective action. It’s important that you become aware of such encumbrances on your property before you close out your purchase, and that you’re not held financially liable for removing structures that pre-date your ownership.

The Final Step: Title Insurance

A careful title examination identifies and resolves legal, financial, and physical property issues associated with your property. But it may happen that, during your ownership, issues emerge that were undiscoverable in the most diligent and rigorous examination. Unknown heirs may come forward, deeds can contain forgeries, and legal documents may have been signed under duress, leaving those documents open to legal challenges. Liens may not be recorded in the public record, but still owed on the property. Any number of issues can arise, and Title Insurance protects you against such claims.

After we conduct the full title examination, we offer you a title insurance policy to protect you against claims originating from the property’s past ownership. This policy involves a one-time premium, and protects you for as long as you maintain an interest in your property. The policy will cover any legal expenses to defend your property’s title, and provide for any settlement expenses should any title defects emerge. With a title examination and title insurance from Security Title, you can have complete confidence in your legal rights to your property, and enjoy that property for years to come.