The land title industry helps protect people’s investments in their homes. For a one-time fee, we assure people of the legal right to their home for as long as they own their property.
By assuring legal ownership, title insurance helps people realize the American dream of accumulating wealth in property by building equity. As they build equity, they often have the option to use it as collateral to borrow funds, which they use to improve their property or open businesses, continue their education, invest and provide for their families.
The protection also lowers risk for lenders, and because title insurance protects them too, they can loan money at a lower cost than otherwise would be possible. This protection of you and your lender, in turn, drives the nation’s economy.
In almost every other part of the world, the ability to purchase property has significant barriers preventing average citizens from buying and selling property with ease. Over the last 100 years, our system has allowed countless immigrants, some who came here with nothing but the clothes on their backs, to become citizens and to save, purchase, prove ownership and build wealth for their families.
Our mission is to protect the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance provided through the finest independent agents in a trusted partnership.
For most people, their home is their biggest single investment – something dreamed of and saved for years before the actual purchase is made.
Did you know complications in the chain of a home’s title can lead to the loss of your property even after the real estate closing has taken place?
That’s why title insurance is so important. The following information is provided to answer questions you may have about the role of title insurance in the purchase of your property.
A title is the right to ownership and possession of a home or property.
It is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. If that right can be established, this person can claim your property outright or make demands on you as to its use.
If that happens, the premium you paid your title insurer like Allliant National when you purchased your title insurance policy at closing will defend and protect your ownership, including defending you in the legal system!
Title insurance assures that:
Title insurance helps buyers realize the dream of home ownership.
For a one-time fee, your title insurance agent performs an average of 135 comprehensive steps to assure you (the homebuyer) and your lender that the seller actually has the right to sell the property. The title agent then provides insurance protection for as long as you own the property.
All of this is accomplished by a team of competent title professionals at a cost equivalent to a few hours of an attorney’s hourly billable rate!
A title insurance underwriter, such as Alliant National, stands behind the work your title insurance agent has done to assure your right to own your property.
Yes, and smart buyers do research to be sure of the title services provider they choose is reputable and competitively priced.
Most consumers choose to purchase title insurance from the company their real estate agent, lender or attorney recommends. Buyers often rely on recommendations from real estate professionals because they are working on many transactions each month and have the experience to recommend a competent title insurance agency.
The legal requirement of obtaining title insurance varies from state to state.
However, if you need a mortgage, as most buyers do, your mortgage lender will require this protection for an amount equal to the loan.
If you don’t need a mortgage, title insurance is the only way to protect your investment in your property from future claims regarding your title!
Using experience, expert skills and extreme attention to detail, your title insurance agent and their staff of professionals perform an exhaustive search of public records and title plants for judgments, liens and other potential problems with the property.
For example, there may be unpaid real estate taxes, or someone years ago may have forged a signature in transferring title. If problems are found, they are resolved prior to purchase to reduce your risk and prepare for the transaction process.
Without this research, your rights to your property could be jeopardized, and your collateral and equity could even be lost.
Unfortunately, not all problems with a title are caught in the examination process and even the most thorough search performed by the most experienced examiner may not uncover some obscure detail.
Here are some potential hidden hazards that title insurance protects you against down the line:
A title insurance policy states that if you, as insured, suffer a loss as a result of title defects, the insurer will reimburse you for loss up to the face amount of the policy and any related legal expenses.
The two most common types of title policies are “loan policies,” which protect lenders, and “owner’s policies,” which protect property buyers.
Most lending institutions will not 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 title.
For a one-time fee, a title insurance policy protects you from any past issues that have occurred with your property for as long as you own the property.
Events that occur after your policy date are not covered by your title insurance.
For example, if you fail to pay your income taxes, the IRS could place a lien on your home. This is why a mortgage lender will require new title insurance if you need to refinance.
Even though you may have done nothing, a lien by a contractor, taxing authority, HOA or others could have mistakenly been put on your property without your knowledge.
Even if you think nothing has happened to compromise your title since you purchased the property, your lender will want assurance that the title is free of defects.
The loan policy required when you refinance not only insures the lender against defects in your title, but also insures against loss if the new loan is not valid or does not have the desired priority.
Insuring the validity and priority of the lien is not something covered by your owner’s title insurance, nor by any prior loan policy.
Yes, title insurance is regulated. The extent and manner of regulation varies greatly from state to state, including a determination of what is covered by the title insurance premium.
In some states, the premium covers the cost of title search, examination and policy issuance. In other states, the premium only covers the cost of insuring and there are separate fees or charges for searching and examining.
The service of handling an escrow or closing the real estate transaction is always an additional charge, and these services may be provided by the title agent, an escrow agent or an attorney.
Rates also vary from state to state. States like Texas and Florida have rates set by regulatory authorities. Other states, like Colorado, have “file and use” rates that are set by title insurance underwriters and approved by regulators.
In general, states require that rates must be reasonable to the public and non-confiscatory to the industry.