Your Questions About Title Insurance

Mandy asks…

What value does a real estate lawyer add on top of title insurance?

If title insurance already protects against:
– survey errors
– legal description errors
– negligence
– forgery
– liens

and negates the need for:
– zoning compliance certificate
– tax certificate
– hydro/water/gas certificates
– law society levy

what value does a real estate lawyer add on top?

Is it just for wading through the legalese in the Offer and the Agreement?

barry0912 answers:

Depends on the transaction, if it’s a refinance, I would tend to agree with you even though I don’t understand what you mean by stating title insurance negates the need for tax and water certificate. I’d also be cautious of the legal description errors. I had a situation in NY, purchase, where the deed to the property did not contain a legal description at all. The previous title company would not give us a letter of indemity for our title and then come to find out our title underwriter would not accept it, the original deed had to be found and re-recorded, no exception, so I guess it depends on what you mean by “errors” On a purchase transaction, they usually add more value due to the purchase contracts and drafting of deeds, etc. To be bluntly honest, most attorneys usually dont even touch the file unless there is a major problem, their paralegals handle the day to day operations

Lisa asks…

Who is responsible for selling a bad title insurance policy?

I had property line dispute with my neighbor and my title insurance policy(First American Title Insurance Company) does not want to pay my $7k attorney fees for preparing the claim . They did not cover my out of pocket legal fees. I was sold a crappy policy 10 years ago when I purchased my residence. Who is in charge of choosing the title insurance company? Escrow company or the agent?

barry0912 answers:

Normally the real estate agent or the escrow officer select a title company they are accustom to working with. This is prevalent throughout the mortgage and real estate industry.

What the real estate agent or escrow loan or loan officer fail to tell their clients is that they may select the services of their choice.

Even if your title was not in excess of 10 year the title company only guarantee that liens against the property after your purchase would be paid and you would be getting a clean title to the property. You did not get a crappy title insurance policy.

I have used First American Title Insurance and have found them to be a competent title company over the years.

In most states and counties a property has been assigned a lot and parcel number with the dimension recorded at the county court where the property is located. If there is a dispute about the property as to where it ends and how much is yours, then you would have to hire a survey company to complete a survey to determine property lines.

I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck.


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