Frequently Asked Questions
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Find answers to your questions about title, title insurance, and working with Title Forward. If you don't see what you need, don't hesitate to contact us.
What is title?
Title is the right to, or ownership of, a specific real estate property. The main rights conferred by a real estate title are: right of possession, right of control, right of exclusion, right of enjoyment, and right of disposition. Change in ownership can be initiated by a will, court decree, law, or sale of a property. The transfer in ownership is recorded in a deed and filed with county records. Learn About Title
What is a deed?
A deed is a legal document that records a transfer in ownership from one person to another, and is filed with county records.
What is the difference between title and deed?
Simply put, a title defines the rights of ownership for a property and the deed is the legal document that transfers ownership. Title is the right to, or ownership of, a specific property. Ownership, and all the rights and duties of each individual that holds the title for a property, is recorded in a legal document that is filed with county records. This document is referred to as the deed. Learn About Title
What is a note?
A note is a written promise to pay a specific amount of money, usually at a specified interest rate, and at a stated time to a named payee. It may also contain other terms such as penalties for late payments, a provision for attorney's fees if legal action is required to collect payment, the right to collect payment in full if the note is secured by property and the property is sold, and whether the note is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust.
A note is not a mortgage. A note is a promise to pay, while a mortgage is similar to a deed in that it transfers and defines the conditions of ownership. In a residential purchase, a homebuyer typically signs both the note and the mortgage, but not always. A mortgage is filed with county records, but a note goes directly to a lender.
What is title insurance?
Title insurance protects a homeowner or lender against financial loss from real estate title defects or liens against a property. Any property that has undergone several transfers of ownership — including when it was undeveloped land — could have a hidden title issue that can affect the current homeowner or lender. Learn About Title Insurance
Do I need title insurance?
If you are purchasing a home with a loan, your lender typically requires you to purchase a title insurance policy to protect their interest in the property. 85% of our customers opt to purchase an owner's policy to protect their own interest as well. Learn About Title Insurance
What is settlement?
Settlement, also called closing, is the completion of the real estate transfer, where the title passes from seller to buyer, or a mortgage lien is given to secure a debt. How to Prepare for Closing
What is closing?
Closing, also called settlement, is the completion of the real estate transfer, where the title passes from seller to buyer, or a mortgage lien is given to secure a debt. How to Prepare for Closing
How much should my real estate agent know about title?
As part of a real estate transaction, your real estate agent should know what title insurance is and at which point in the purchase process a title and settlement company should be brought into the transaction. However, title is complex and requires in-depth understanding of state laws and local practices. If you have more detailed questions about title and title insurance, your best bet is to consult with a title company. Contact us, we're here to help!
Are all title companies closing companies?
Not necessarily. There are companies that only sell insurance and there are companies that only offer escrow and settlement services. At Title Forward, we believe that you'll get the best results — and benefit from the most expertise — if we provide both title insurance and settlement services. There are a lot of moving parts that go into the close of your home purchase, and combining title insurance and settlement services means that's one less company you have to wrangle to find out the state of your deal. How Title Companies Work
Why should I work with Title Forward?
Everything we do is to make the whole process easier for you. We'll give you honest answers, we won't try to sell you the most expensive policy in our portfolio, and we'll hustle on the details so your closing is stress-free. Plus, we'll make sure you get the right policy and personal service at a competitive price. Learn About Services & Reviews
Who decides which title insurance to purchase?
It depends on the state. In some states such as Colorado, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., the homebuyer has the option to decide which owner's policy to purchase. In other states such as Washington and Illinois, the seller of the property is the one that decides which title insurance to purchase. Regardless of the state, your lender will always want a lender's policy issued. Learn About Title Insurance
Do all title companies offer the same type of title insurances?
For the most part, yes. Most title companies will offer both a basic and enhanced owner's policy. Choose Your Policy
Can I purchase title insurance after closing on my home?
Yes, but be cautious about taking this path. Most title companies will only issue an owner's policy on the assessed value or on a recent appraisal of the property, and not the purchase price of the home.
What does title insurance cover?
A lender's policy only protects the lender's interests, not yours. And, it only goes into effect if the lender takes possession of the property through foreclosure or some other means.
A basic owner's policy, such as the one we offer, protects you against issues that occurred prior to your purchase date, but have not yet been discovered. For example, it can protect you from previous owners making a claim of ownership on the property, or a special assessment or unpaid property tax that was not found at the time of purchase.
The enhanced owner's policy* at Title Forward offers more comprehensive coverage. It includes everything the basic policy covers, and also protects you against situations like prior building permit violations, incorrect surveys, claims against your property that may occur in the future, and more situations.(*Not available in Florida or Illinois.)
Choose Your Policy | Download Policy Details
How much does title insurance cost?
The cost of title insurance varies from state to state, and will depend on state regulations and how title insurance rates are filed. Some states may offer a discount on the title insurance premium if evidence is provided showing that an owner's policy was issued previously to the seller within a certain timeframe. Get a Quote
What are the most common situations covered by title insurance?
The most common situations covered by title insurance are: forged deeds, inaccurate property legal descriptions, heirs claiming an interest in the property, unpaid taxes from a prior owner, no right of access to and from the land, or when someone else has filed a lien against your title.
My real estate agent suggested a title company, how do I decide to go with them?
Any company that you are considering doing business with is worth doing some up-front research. You can easily see what our customers are saying about our service in Redfin Open Book.
We survey everyone who works with us so you know exactly how your Title Forward closing specialist has performed with other clients. Every client is asked to write a review, and we publish them all, including the comments. Learn About Services & Reviews
What is vesting?
Vesting is the legal term that describes the rights and duties of each individual that holds the title for a property including ownership, use, taxes, profit, and transferability. It determines what happens to the property in the event of death, divorce, unpaid taxes, or unpaid liens. Vesting options can vary by state.
The most common types of vesting are single vesting and joint ownership. Single vesting is when there is one owner that holds the title for a property with full rights and duties. Joint ownership is when one or more people are named on the title for the same property.
Different joint ownership arrangements can include:
- ● Joint tenancy: When one or more people share equal ownership and have equal, undivided right to keep or dispose of the property.
- ● Tenancy by the entirety: When joint tenants are married, both partners legally own the property in its entirety.
- ● Tenancy in common: When two or more tenants are entitled to a percentage of the property by conditions of the deed. A tenant who owns a percentage may sell their interest in the property independent of the other owners.
How do I change my vesting type?
The vesting type is recorded next to the name of the person in the deed (ie. John Smith, unmarried man). To change the vesting type, you can work with a title company to update the deed and file it with county records. However, if you are not required to change your vesting type, it may make sense to wait and update the vesting type in combination with some other transaction such as refinancing your home. If you are not sure how to proceed, ask a title professional. Contact us, we're here to help!
I got married after purchasing my house. Do I need to change the vesting type in the deed?
We call this "perfecting title" and no, there is no requirement to change the vesting type on the deed. However, if you refinance your home in the future, your lender may require you to change your mortgage and the vesting type on the deed can be updated at the same time.
What is the difference between homeowners insurance and title insurance?
Homeowners insurance covers loss or damage (from fire, vandalism, or other natural causes) to your home, other structures on your property, or personal property kept in your home. It also provides coverage for loss of use, liability, and medical expenses for accidents that occur on your property.
Title insurance protects you or a lender against financial loss from real estate title defects or liens against a property. For example, a basic owner's policy can protect you from previous owners making a claim of ownership on the property, or a special assessment or unpaid property tax that was not found at the time of purchase. Learn About Title Insurance
What is a Closing Disclosure or CD?
A Closing Disclosure, or CD, is a form that provides final details about the mortgage loan buyers have selected. It includes the loan terms, projected monthly payments, and how much one will pay in fees and other costs to get a mortgage (closing costs). It also shows the purchase price for the home and reflects and prior deposits made, allocations between the parties for property taxes, condominium or homeowners association fees, credits from one party to another, and the costs for title services, title insurance and government recording and transfer charges. It is the summary document for all the money connected to the purchase of the home between the buyer and seller. Buyers and sellers have separate Closing Disclosures.
Lenders are responsible for preparing and delivering the buyer's CD and work hand in hand with the title company to prepare the final CD. Title companies generally prepare and deliver the seller's CD. Download sample CD's here: Buyer CD, Seller CD
Can I hire Title Forward for settlement services but purchase title insurance from another provider?
Because settlement is highly dependent on clearing the title to pave the way for issuing a title insurance policy, we prefer to handle both aspects of your transaction. We're committed to making sure you get personal service throughout your closing, and that includes getting the right policy at a competitive price. Learn About Services & Reviews
Who can I go to with questions?
Throughout the closing process, your Title Forward closing specialist will keep you updated on your progress, and is always available to answer questions. Contact us, we're here to help!