T I T L E C O M P A N Y

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much could I lose if a claim is filed against my property?

That depends on the claim. In an extreme case, you could lose your entire home and property- and still be liable to pay off the balance of your mortgage. Most claims aren’t that dramatic, but even the smallest claim can cost you time, money and aggravation, and you may have to pay costs for a legal defense.

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, assures you of a legal defense- and pay all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim proves valid, you will be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.

What is a title?

A title is the foundation of property ownership. It is the owner’s right to posses and use the property.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is your policy of protection against loss of any of these problems- even a “hidden hazard”- results in a claim against your ownership.

Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?

Yes. There are some “hidden hazards” that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For instance, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his or her marital status, resulting in a possible claim by a legal spouse. Other “hidden hazards” include fraud and forgery, defective deed, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names and clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you’ve purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.

What kinds of problems can a title search reveal?

A title search can show a number of title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against seller and restrictions limiting the use of the land.

Why is transferring title to real estate different from transferring the title to other items, such as a car?

Because land title is permanent and can have many owners over the years, various rights in land (such as mineral, air or utility rights) may have been acquired by others by the time you come into possession of it, even if the land has never before been built upon. So in order to transfer a clear title to a piece of land, it is first necessary to determine whether any rights are outstanding.

What are Preliminary Reports?

The preliminary report will provide you with the opportunity, prior to purchase, to review matters affecting your property which will be excluded from coverage under your title insurance policy unless removed or eliminated before your purchase.

What are the Common Ways of Holding Title?

This important question is one California real property purchasers ask their real estate, escrow and title professionals every day. Unfortunately, though these professionals may identify the many methods of owning property, they may not recommend a specific form of ownership, as doing so would constitute practicing law.

What is DRE Processing?

The Department of Real Estate was given jurisdiction through the Subdivided Lands Act to regulate the sale of subdivision offerings. The purpose of the Act is consumer protection against misrepresentation, fraud or deceit in the public sale or lease of subdivided lands. No person may offer for sale or lease any interest in a subdivision covered by the Subdivided Lands Act without first obtaining a Public Report.

What is an Escrow?

Buying or selling a home (or other piece of real property)usually involves the transfer of large sums of money. It is imperative that the transfer of these funds and related documents from one party to another be handled in a neutral, secure and knowledgeable manner. For the protection of buyer, seller and lender, the escrow process was developed.