Protecting Real Estate
Real estate has traditionally been a family’s most valuable asset. It is a form of wealth that is protected by many laws. These laws have been enacted to protect one’s ownership of real estate and the improvements located on the land. The owner, the owner’s family, and the owner’s heirs have rights or claims in and to the property that you are buying. Those who may have an interest in or lien on the property could be governmental entities, contractors, lenders, judgment creditors, the Internal Revenue Service, or various other individuals or corporations.
The real estate may be sold to you without the knowledge of the party having a right or claim in and to the property. In addition, you may purchase the real estate without having any knowledge of these rights or claims. In either event, these rights or claims remain attached to the title to the property that you are buying until they are extinguished.
The Past Can Determine Your Future
Title insurance is a unique form of insurance. It provides coverage for future claims or future losses due to title defects which are created by an issue with the property in the past. These risks are less obvious when you are purchasing the home but can be devastating. The following information will answer some commonly asked questions about title insurance.
What is Clear Title?
It is important that you receive clear title to the property when you purchase real estate. In order to do so, you must first be informed of any existing rights or claims that may, in the future, threaten your title and possession to the property. Title insurance provides you with that protection.
How Do You Find Out What Claims Exist?
In order to determine the status of title, we conduct a search of the public records for any documents associated with the property. The title is then examined and all of the recorded documents are reviewed to determine if there are any rights or claims that may have an impact upon the title to the property. The title search may reveal recorded defects, liens or encumbrances on the title such as unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments and tax liens against the current or past owners, easements, restrictions and court actions. These recorded defects, liens and encumbrances are reported to you prior to your purchase of the property.
Once reported, these matters can be accepted, resolved or extinguished prior to the closing of the transaction. In addition, you are protected against any loss or damage resulting from recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title that are unreported to you and which are within the coverage of the particular policy issued in the transaction. This is the first benefit you receive from title insurance.
Un- discovered Claims?
The title to the property that you have purchased could be seriously threatened or lost completely by hazards which are considered “hidden risks.” “Hidden Risks” are those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records. Matters such as forgery, incompetency or incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after you have purchased the property. In order to protect you against this possibility, We provide insurance coverage for such claims. This is the second benefit you receive from title insurance.
How Does a Title Insurance Policy Protect Against All These Claims?
If a claim is made against your title, Coastline Title protects you by:
- Defending your title.
- Bearing the cost of settling the case, if it proves valid, in order to protect your title and maintain your possession of your property.
Only One Premium
Unlike other forms of insurance, the original premium is the only cost as long as you or your heirs own the property.