14 Feb

How to Choose a Title Services Company

Title Services Company

When looking for a title services company, which is an essential aspect of mortgage service it’s important to check if it’s got the necessary operational expertise and other major capabilities required to perform a credible job. The firm needs to be competent at performing various real estate transactions, and should be able to act as the combined agent of all the parties such as the seller, mortgage lender, insurance company and the buyer.

In its capacity, the title company should be able to review titles, identify title defects, perform current owner search, and facilitates closings, apart from being able to issue insurance policies to its clients when necessary. Discussed below are some of the tips that can be helpful in finalizing the appointment of a title service firm.

Defects Identification

A professional and experienced title service provider should be able to identify even the most minuscule defects associated with a property. A company adept at defect identification services can protect its clientele against the risk of title defects such as the following:

  • Liens from unpaid taxes and pending debt on the property
  • Illegal deeds that are executed by non-authorized people
  • Missing or undisclosed heirs
  • False documents or forged deeds
  • Inaccurate surveys
  • Discrepancies in current owner details

In addition, there can be various other defects that need the proficient scanning abilities of the experts, who are usually employed by established title services companies.

Title Search

In order to identify the defects in a title, the company has to be proficient in performing a detailed search. Some of these searches need a thorough investigation on critical aspects of the property such as:

  • History of ownership (starting with the Current Owner)
  • Encumbrances
  • Various types of deeds
  • Chain of titles
  • List of all legal heirs

There are various forms of encumbrance that can hinder can affect the owner’s right to the property and can hinder the legal sale of the property. These obstacles usually include a mortgage debt on the property, a tax lien, an easement, etc. The title search is technically a profound investigation into these encumbrances and the findings are summarized in a report usually called the title abstract.

On identifying these hindrances, the title services company has to clear them through legal means which requires the corporation and approvals of all the parties involved

Deed Vetting

Deeds or titles are the legal instruments that define the ownership a real estate. A new buyer takes possession of the deed, which is recorded at the local courthouse. A person may not technically own a property until his or her name appears on the recorded deed or the title of the property.

When a lien or any other encumbrance is secured on an estate, then it is practically impossible to sell it. However, when such a sale takes place, the lien holders can have a claim on the estate. Also, if the sale of a property owned by a group of people is carried out without the consent of any one of them, then the left out owner still has a legal claim on the title.

A competent title service company thoroughly checks for such loopholes in the deed of the property and ensures to eliminate them completely before the property changes hands.

Current Owner Search

Ideal for by-owner transactions, foreclosure auctions, refinance and pre-tax auctions, the Clear Owner Search checks for all the encumbrances from last property purchase to current date in order to ensure a clear title. However, the search is specifically mean for residential properties and not commercial ones.

A professional title search company carries out the following searches under the Current Owner Search:

  • The copy of the most current deed held at the local courthouse or the county office that proves the current ownership of the real estate.
  • List of all the settled and pending judgments
  • Mortgage and assignment search
  • Civil judgment and vesting information search
  • Foreclosure status search
  • Federal, State, and Municipal Tax Lien Search
  • Home Association lien search
  • Foreclosure Proceedings at the civil court
  • Tax delinquency and bankruptcy status

Closing Service

A title agency acting as a neutral party presides over loan closings and represents the interest of all parties involved in the transaction. The title service firms usually summon state-appointed notaries as the closing agents to witness the signatures of these parties, while also offering to handle the exchange of funds between them. Following the transaction, the firm records the deed, mortgage and other documents at the local courthouse.

When a company is able to provide these specialized services, or even a combination of any of these, by ensuring due diligence, then it can qualify as an ideal title services firm. While these are some of the most important duties, there exist a host of other services that can also be provided by different firms. However, the competency levels along with the range of services vary with each firm, and this is where one needs to play smart in choosing one.