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Tips to Choose the Right Title Search Company – Is Title Insurance Always Needed?

Title Related Topics

With impacts from COVID-19 changing so many things, you may be relieved to know that there are some things that remain the same. That is the case for certain title searches, depending on what they are intended for.

Is an insured title product with a corresponding title policy required for all your title searches? Do you always need to pay for that premium?

In today’s litigious society, the answer would seem to be yes. But is that always the case?

What if you are a judgment creditor looking to determine assets of the judgment debtor? What if you are installing equipment of some kind and need to know any easement restrictions before starting?

In these situations, paying the premium for an underwritten title policy may not be necessary. Lender title products depend on the lender’s application and risk considerations.

  • Update Search – just what it sounds like, an update to a previously issued policy or title search which has examined and reported title up to a certain date.
  • Owner and Encumbrance Search – typically a search forward from the current ownership deed acquisition (full value, arms-length or acceptable whole interest starting point) although that criteria can be expanded as necessary; this title report limits research to current ownership information and liens affecting real property within a defined date period.
  • Easement/Boundary Dispute Searches – Specified searches (usually 30 to 50 years) which report only non-monetary matters affecting the premises, such as:
    • Utility Access
    • Drainage and other easements of necessity
    • Restrictions which contain easement rights including agreements for common easement or facility and filed maps/plats of record.
  • Real Property Asset Searches – Index and Title Plant examinations to locate any real property owned within a defined party name and county.
  • A “Two Owner” product, which is similar to the “Owner and Encumbrance” search in context but includes the immediate previous owner along with the current owner in the title search. This expands the search period to address any prior matters not removed from the prior owner (old deeds of trust, UCC 1’s tax/judgment liens) and uses the same search criteria as listed above in #2,
  • Full Title Searches – Full Title reports which defines matters in the record specifically affecting real property and lien information including:
    • Real Property Taxes
    • Easements, Agreements of Record and Restrictions (sometimes referred to as C, C and R’s)
    • Equitable liens (Deeds of Trust/Mortgage; Judgment; Federal/State Tax Liens) and other money liens affecting the real property and its ownership parties.
    • All three of the above, depending on your risk management objectives and demands, may not need a policy. In those cases, you can save yourself a lot of money by employing the services of a National Title Research Company.

Title reporting is an intricate and detailed process. To accurately inform your decision making, you need experienced and expert know-how to craft a comprehensive report worthy of your trust.

If you determine that you do not need an underwritten title policy, there is a checklist of vital questions to consider before choosing a title search company.

What should you look for in a Title Search Company?

Reliability – Is the Title Search Company reliable?

  • Are reports delivered when promised?
  • If work is delayed, are you alerted before it’s due, or after it’s already late?
  • How long has the Title Search Company been in business?
  • Do they carry Errors and Omissions insurance?

Quality – Does the Title Search Company produce quality reports?

  • Are they knowledgeable about title norms and customs?
  • Do they have a detailed knowledge of title documents?
  • Do they read and understand legal descriptions? Many searchers rely on parcel numbers or addresses instead of carefully reviewing the legal description; this practice can lead to incomplete and inaccurate reporting.

Coverage – Does the Title Search Company offer full services?

  • Do they provide nationwide coverage?
  • Do they offer other public records services that complement their title services, like corporate and UCC?
  • Do they provide dedicated customer service support?

If you want quality title searches from a reliable partner with total coverage, contact us today. First Corporate Solutions works with our customers to first understand their needs, then creates a customized title report to address and answer those needs.

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