You can depend on Owner's Title Agency, LLC, located in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan, for complete title services. From title insurance to both commercial and residential closings, Owner's Title Agency, LLC does it all. When you trust the professionals at Owner's Title Agency, LLC, you will receive the most thorough and efficient title services in the West Michigan area.
FAQs Regarding Title Insurance
Owner's Title Agency, LLC realizes that first-time home buyers and newcomers to real estate transactions in general may be unaware of the importance of title insurance and its related services. These answers to frequently asked questions will help broaden your understanding of the role Owner's Title plays in providing an efficient and seamless closing for your property purchase. Have additional questions? Please contact us!
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is an insurance policy guaranteeing a buyer’s ownership and peaceful enjoyment against claims, liens, or judgments associated with a property after the purchase is completed. Such insurance protects against losses arising from events occurring prior to the date of the policy. Unlike Real Property or Casualty Insurance where coverage starts on the day a policy is issued, title insurance, being Indemnity Insurance, causes coverage to stop on the day the policy is issued. Its coverage extends backward in time and guarantees that events prior to your ownership do not result in losses to you.
Why do I need Title Insurance?
When you buy a home–or any property for that matter–you expect to enjoy certain benefits from ownership; to be able to occupy and use the property as you wish, to be free from debts or obligations not created or agreed to by you, and to be able to freely sell or pledge your property as security for a loan. Title insurance is designed to cover these rights. Without an owner’s title insurance policy, you may not be fully protected against errors in the public records, hidden defects not disclosed by the public records, or mistakes made during the examination of the title of your new property. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. However, your owner’s title policy insures that if such an occurance arises, you will be protected, free of charge against all covered claims and paid up to the amount of the policy to settle valid claims.
Are there different types of Title Insurance?
Yes. Basically there are two types of Title Insurance policies available: Lenders title insurance, sometimes called a Loan Policy, and Owner’s title insurance.
The majority of lenders require a Loan Policy when you get a loan. A Loan Policy protects the lender up to the amount of their outstanding debt and the value of the policy decreases as the loan principal is paid down and expires when the mortgage is paid in full.
Owner’s title insurance is issued in the amount of your real estate purchase. The title insurance is purchased for a one-time fee at closing and lasts for the duration of your ownership of the property. That can even be after the insured party has sold the property. Owner’s title insurance is the only policy that fully protects the buyer in the event of problems with the chain of title. By purchasing owner’s title insurance, you are also insuring against any legal fees that may arise in defending a claim to your title.
What is the role of a Title Agency?
The purchase of real estate is one of the most important decisions and investments you will ever make. At Owner's Title we ensure our clients obtain clear, marketable title through our process of researching and examining the public records on the prior ownership history. Once the research is complete, we produce a title commitment, which is our written promise to issue a title insurance policy clear of liens and claims against the property based on the provisions stated within the commitment. An owner’s policy of title insurance protects the owner should someone make a claim against the title to the property. A lender’s policy, typically required by any lending institution, protects their interest and rights in the property as well.
Why is Transferring the Title to a real estate different from transferring the title to other items, such as a car?
Because land is permanent and can have many owners over the years, various rights in land (such as mineral, air or utility rights) may have been acquired by others by the time you come into possession of it, even if the land has never before been built upon. So in order to transfer a clear title to a piece of land, it is first necessary to determine whether any rights are outstanding.
What is a Title Search?
A title search is a detailed examination of the historical records concerning a specific parcel of property. These records include deeds, mortgages, easements, restrictions, court records, property and name indexes, and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects and other rights or burdens on the property which may affect the purchaser’s intended use of the property. Owner's Title always conducts a complete search of the chain of title in compliance of the 40 Year Standard of Marketability Act.
What kinds of problems can a title search reveal?
A title search can show a number of title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller, easements, and restrictions limiting the use of the land.
Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?
Yes. There are some “hidden hazards” that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For instance, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his or her marital status, resulting in a possible claim by a legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards” include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names and clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.
How does Title Insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you of a legal defense – and pay all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.
The owner of the property has a deed. Isn't that proof of ownership?
Not necessarily. A deed is just a document by which the right of ownership in land is transferred, whatever that right may be. It’s not proof of ownership, and it doesn’t do away with rights others may have in the property. In addition, a deed won’t show you liens or claims that may be outstanding against the title.
How much does Title Insurance cost?
The one-time premium for an owners-only policy is directly related to the value of your home. It is a one-time expense, paid when you purchase your home, yet it continues to provide complete coverage for as long as you or your heirs own the property.
Where can I get Title Insurance?
Owner's Title is here to assist in all of your title insurance needs. When selecting a title insurer, it is important that you look for a company with expertise and experience, as well as the financial strength to protect you should a claim arise.
Can Owner's Title handle the closing?
Yes. We will act as a central clearing house for the parties involved – collecting necessary documents, insuring adherence to the lender’s title instructions, making arrangements for proper payment and distribution of funds. We are fully prepared to work with you from the beginning of your transaction all the way through to conclusion.
CALL OWNER'S TITLE AT (888) 821-10137 TO ACHIEVE YOUR COMPLETE TITLE SERVICE.