Frequently Asked Questions

What does "Title" mean?
What is Title Insurance?
Why is Title Insurance important?
Why should I also buy an Owner’s Policy?
What are some of the dangers of not having title insurance?
Other than issue Title Insurance, what does a Title Company do?
Is Title Insurance the same as homeowners insurance?
What if I have a problem?

What does "Title" mean?

In general terms, “title” refers to the ownership history of the property including the transfers of ownership from one person to another and any loans using the property as collateral. A clear line of title makes you much less vulnerable to ownership claims from other parties and to outstanding debts of previous owners.

What is Title Insurance?

In exchange for a one-time premium, title insurance provides protection against unknown title defects, fraud by the seller along with liens and judgments of prior owners. In Texas, the two most common types of title policies are “mortgagee policies” that protect lenders and “owner policies” that protect property buyers.

Why is Title Insurance important?

Because of the protection that title insurance offers, most lenders won't loan you money to buy a house or other property unless you purchase a mortgagee policy. This policy will repay the balance of your mortgage if a claim against your property voids your ownership.

Why should I also buy an Owner’s Policy?

The mortgagee or lender’s title policy covers only the amount of its loan, which is usually not the full value of the property. As the owner of the property, you would want to be insured for the purchase price that you paid. Also, title insurance covers legal expenses to defend any covered adverse claim. When a loan policy is being issued, the small additional expense of an owner’s policy is a bargain.

What are some of the dangers of not having title insurance?

There are really too many to list here. Some of the most common dangers are that the seller does not actually own the property being sold, outstanding liens against the property, unpaid taxes on the property, judgments affecting the property and forgery, just to name a few.

Other than issue Title Insurance, what does a Title Company do?

Title companies also coordinate the sales transaction and the closing (generally meaning the signing of legal documents, transfer of ownership and filing a lien on property for the benefit of the lender and release for any old liens) as well as act as an independent escrow agent (generally, the holding and disbursement of monies with respect to the transaction).

Is Title Insurance the same as homeowners insurance?

No. Title insurance is very different from homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance usually protects you from losses or damage to the house itself and certain personal property along with liability for damages to other people or personal property. Title insurance does not protect against these risks. Our office does not issue homeowners insurance.

What if I have a problem?

If you every were to learn of a claim adverse to your title, you should contact your title insurer or the agent who issued your policy. Title insurance includes coverage for legal expenses that may be necessary to investigate, litigate or settle any covered adverse claim.

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