Frequently Asked Questions
What is title search?
The title to your property is a history of ownership. Any of the past owners could have judgments against them which could attach to the property. In addition to mortgage liens, the property could have liens on it placed by contractors, associations, recorded code violations or restrictions.
Are there any defects that a title search cannot reveal?
Yes. There are some “hidden defects” that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For example: fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence or incorrect marital status reference. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership. Title insurance protects your right to ownership.
How does title insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, provide you with a legal defense. If the claim proves valid, the title insurance underwriter will reimburse you for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.
Is title insurance paid annually?
No. Unlike other insurance premiums, which must be paid annually, a title insurance premium is paid one time only at settlement.
Who pays for title insurance?
The payment of title insurance premiums in Florida varies per county and can be negotiated in the contract. The seller generally pays for the title insurance and chooses the title/closing company in most Florida counties. The buyer generally pays for title insurance and chooses the title/closing company in the following counties: Sarasota, Collier, Miami Dade and Broward.
What is a lien search?
A lien search provides us with information on any unrecorded matters such as unrecorded code violations, open permits or outstanding taxes.
What is a property survey?
A survey sets forth the accurate legal description to the property as well as a determination whether there are any encroachments onto the property from neighboring properties or from the property onto neighboring properties.
What is a community association estoppel?
A form completed by the association indicating whether regular assessment dues are current and whether there are any special assessments owed or pending.
How long does it take to verify whether title is marketable?
A title search and examination can generally be performed within 48 hours. The title search may reveal certain issues which require additional time in order to determine whether they can be cleared at closing. If the property is within an association (condominium or homeowners’ association) the estoppel letter(s) from the association may take additional time to obtain.