Before you purchase your home or refinance your mortgage, a title company is hired, usually by your lender (when you are buying your property with a new first mortgage loan), but sometimes by the purchaser themselves, to perform a thorough examination of the land records affecting the property as recorded in the various county offices that keep those records.
This is done to ensure that the seller possesses legal title to the property, and that no other person or entity may claim a full or partial interest in it.
These searches take place in the offices of the County Clerk, Property Valuation Administrator (“PVA”), Sheriff, and others, where we check for records of liens, mortgages, leases, restrictions, easements, taxes, zoning cases, lawsuits or foreclosure actions, or any other matter or encumbrance that may impact the new buyer’s ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property.
You should never purchase real estate without a thorough examination of the title. Often, we’ve heard people say “…well, I’ve known the seller for years, and he’s a good guy” or some variation of that sentiment. Or “the seller has told me the property is free & clear, and he’s a very honest person, so I believe him”. The problem is, often times the seller has no idea that there are liens filed against the property, and only when we provide the title report do they find out that they were wrong.
At Guardian Title, we employ a department of highly experienced title examiners to complete the most thorough title search possible. We strive to provide title reports to our clients quickly and accurately, so that all parties are kept informed regarding the state of title and matters that must be addressed prior to closing. These title reports are most often provided in the form of a “Commitment to Issue Title Insurance”, usually just referred to as a “commitment”. It is with the information provided in this report that the various Policies of Title Insurance are produced.