Purchasing real estate is a major investment. Therefore, it is a good idea to not only insure your property against fire and theft, but also from title defects that may allow someone else to claim your property.
It is possible for prior owners and other entities to hold either legitimate or illegitimate claims against your property. Title problems can limit your use of the property and can also lead to serious financial losses. Your mortgage lender’s security interest in the property can also be jeopardized. Title insurance protects both you and your mortgage company from potential risks associated with title defects.
What does this policy protect you and your lender against?
Your title insurance protects your property from the following possibilities:
- If a document in the chain of title is not properly signed, sealed, acknowledged or delivered
- Fraud, incompetence, forgery, incapacity or impersonation by someone in the chain of title
- A deed signed by someone who claimed to own the property, but in fact did not.
- A deed signed by someone mentally incompetent.
- A deed signed by someone whose power of attorney had expired.
- Federal estate, State inheritance and/or gift tax liens
- If someone else has an easement on the land
- Lack of legal right of access to and from the land
- Errors in tax records
- Title taken as a result of an improperly probated will.
- Misinterpretation of wills, deeds and other documents
- Undisclosed heirs / the appearance of a missing heirs
- Mechanics liens filed by a proven owner’s contractor
- Clerical Error made at the courthouse when an earlier deed was recorded.
- Instrument signed by a minor.
- Improper legal description.
- Forged signatures.
- A married signer who represented himself as single.
- Confusion of title resulting from similar names.