Frequently Asked Questions
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is a contract to indemnify against losses arising through defects in title to real estate.
As a rule, a title company will not insure a bad title any more than a fire insurance company will issue a policy on a burning building. However, title companies can sometimes overcome some technical objections that might be raised by a title examination.
If the title is insurable, the company will guarantee against loss due to any defects in the title not specifically set forth in the policy, and to pay all expenses in defense of any lawsuit which attacks the title as insured within the terms of the policy.
The bulk of the title insurance premium is spent to prevent loss from occurring.
Why Title Insurance?
When you buy a typewriter, a television set, a car, or a thoroughbred, you usually have no need to know whether the former owner is married, single or divorced. You are not interested in whether or not the owner has paid taxes or if there are lawsuits or judgments against the owner.
When you buy a home, though, it is necessary to have all that information...and a great deal more.
Whenever you consider the purchase of real estate, you should be aware that there may be others, in addition to the owner, who could have "rights" in the property you are acquiring. There may be a work contractor, governmental agency, or any number of individuals who have perfectly proper claims against the property.
Many people say: "But I have a deed. Isn't that all I need?"
No. A deed is not proof that the seller actually is the owner. Nor does it contain information regarding the rights others might have in the property.
"Can't I find out about their rights from the public records?"
Yes, most of them. A careful investigation of all matters of record by competent individuals can diclose items such as unpaid taxes, mortgages, easements, restrictions, etc. However, all of the necessary information is not contained in a single book, in a given office, or even in the same city. Plus, there could be possible errors in indexing, improper searching, and errors in examination; in other words, the human element. Most of the time, what is not in the public records is what causes title trouble.
What about the Hidden Risks of Title Insurance?
There may be defects in a title which an examination may not disclose. If there is an attack on the title, a title policy protects against all of these hidden risks, and more.
- Birth or adoption of children after date of will
- Community property rights undisclosed of record
- Conveyances altered before recording
- Deeds by minors
- Deeds by persons supposedly single but secretly married
- Deeds by persons of unsound mind
- Deeds delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without consent of grantor
- Defective foreclosures or mortgages
- Destruction, or mistakes of records which may later be disclosed by the appearance of the original paper
- Errors by administrators and executors
- Errors in copying and indexing
- False representations in appointment of guardians and administrators
- False or misleading statement of fact
- Falsification of records
- Forged deeds, releases or wills
- Fraud, duress or coercion in securing essential signatures
- Homestead rights
- Illegal acts of trustees
- Instruments executed under fabricated or expired power of attorney
- Impersonation of the true owners of the land by fraudulent persons
- Insufficiency of evidence to establish title by inheritance
- Invalid, suppressed, undisclosed or erroneous interpretation of wills
- Liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes
- Mistakes in recording legal documents
- Old unsettled estates
- Tax titles invalid because of irregularity of proceedings, reversal of court decisions, or lack of decisions on points of law
- Unauthorized or fraudulent acknowledgments
- Undisclosed or missing heirs
- Want of jurisdiction over persons in judicial proceedings
The Two Most Common Kinds of Title Policies
A mortgage company will often require a title policy for its own protection. The policy protects only the lender.
To protect against the many possibilities of loss due to title defects, a purchaser should purchase an owner's title insurance policy.
The cost of an owner's policy of title insurance is small when related to the value of the property. The higher the valuation of your home, the more insurance you need. To secure the actual cost of an owner's policy on your home, call us at 1-800-427-CLOS today, or complete this form.
If I refinance my mortgage, will I have to get a new title insurance policy?
Typically, yes. The refinance lender will generally require a new policy of title insurance. The lender wants to know if there are any new liens filed against you since the first policy was issued. If the refinance is within 10 years of the issuance of an existing policy, the borrower is entitled to what is known as a "reissue rate," It is not necessary to use the original title company in order to get the reissue rate.
Why use RG Agency for your next property transaction?
- Family-owned and operated for over 50 years
- Reliable, high quality service in all of New York State
- We employ our own title searchers & closers
- Rush orders gladly accepted at no extra cost
- No cancellation fees
- Very competitive rates on discretionary search items
- Free municipal and tax searches with your 1st order
- Bulk rate available on subdivisions of at least 10 lots
- Reduced rates on refinances within 10 years
- Closing facilities available
- Co-op/UCC/lien searches
Conveniently Located In Northern Westchester
(800) 427-CLOSE (427-2567)
P.O. Box 431
1000 N. Division St.
Peekskill, NY 10566
Fax: (914) 739-2808
"...I had a great experience with my mortgage because of RG Agency -- Robin went above and beyond the call of duty to make a closing possible just before my rate was about to expire. I highly recommend them."