Crown’s primary products and services are real estate title searches and document recordation.
A title search, also known as a title exam, is used to provide accurate information from real property records to protect the buyer from unforeseen “clouds” on their property. A title search includes the names of the current property owner(s), prior owners (depending the length of the search conducted as required by lenders), easements, restrictions on the land, mortgage encumbrances, liens, judgments, any filed leases of record—essentially, all pertinent information associated with real estate that can be found within the public records in which the subject premises is located.
The search performed by Crown will involve going through title records for all matters affecting title. Title records are public records listing ownership, encumbrances, liens, and other similar factors during the timeframe of the exam requested. They include written documents, such as deeds and mortgages, tax, marriage, and probate records, easements, restrictions, plats, and any other document that may affect the title of a property. These records are maintained by recorders of deeds, county clerks or clerks of court. Title records play a critical role in establishing the ownership of a property and help spot encumbrances that act as obstruction to a clear title.
Now, let’s get into some terminology in a way that makes sense in your everyday life.
A “cloud” on title
This terminology is commonly used in regards to anything that would inhibit your title (ownership) from being clear and free of any liens/encumbrances by other parties that had previously owned the property. If the title is “clouded”, this could affect your ability to sell and/or refinance the property; therefore; a title search showing any and all possible issues is conducted. That is the purpose of a title search provided by us at Crown Search Services.
A lien is a document, usually as the result of a court case in which the owner of the property was the debtor and ruled against; therefore, a judgment was rendered order the debtor to pay a specific amount of money. Another type of lien is, of course, mortgages and home equity loans (also considered a mortgage). Many of these liens, such as mortgages and unpaid judgements, attach to real property: meaning that they create a “cloud” on the title, and must be satisfied to enable you to sell or refinance your home.
More examples of some of the items found when performing a title exam
Liens, such as mortgages, federal tax liens and child support liens are filed in the Recorder’s Office. Other possible liens, such as certificates of judgments, along with and pending civil suits (resulting from any finalized or pending legal action such as a foreclosure), are filed in the Clerk of Courts Office. Tax liens and delinquent real estate taxes are filed in the Treasurer’s Office. Personal property liens are filed with the Auditor in most counties.
Crown searches all of these departments to make sure your property is free and clear of any encumbrances of which you may be unaware!
It is our goal at Crown, via our search, to obtain all recorded applicable information for title agents and attorneys to enable them to prepare your title policy commitment and to ultimately insure your transaction with free and clear title. For example, as previously mentioned, should there be an open (unpaid) lien that resulted from a lawsuit, from a prior owner on a subject property: that lien will need addressed and satisfied of record (aka cleared) before the closing can occur, and the title insurance policy can be issued. A title search is necessary to enable a homeowner to purchase title insurance. Remember, a Title insurance policy is a form of indemnity insurance that protects lenders and homebuyers from financial loss sustained from clouds (unresolved issues such as unpaid liens) in a title to a property. That’s a big deal! And, that’s a protection you want!
Okay, so what is the role of the title search that Crown offers in making a home purchase/refinance again?
In summary, a title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership based on the specific county records from the county in which the property is located, and more specifically to find out what claims or liens are on the property, as we covered above. A clean/clear title is required for any real estate transaction to go through properly. Crown Search Services will set out all liens on the property, within the timeframe parameters of the exam ordered (i.e. full 42 year exam), along any additional adverse and/or informative information that may assist title companies and attorneys to close their desired transaction.
A search simply digs into the public records available for the property in question. Typically, an attorney or title company will use a variety of legal documents to confirm that the seller is truly the rightful owner. Beyond that, the title search will root out any other financial and legal claims on the property so that they can be addressed, which is commonly called “clearing” title.
As we’ve touched on above, when a buyer approaches a mortgage lender for purchasing real property, it is imperative that the property has clear title so that no legal issues arise later. In this regard, as well as when you pursue a home refinance, a title insurance policy required by lenders. In most cases, upon your application with your chosen lender, their contracted title company or law firm will then reach out to Crown Search Services to get the “ball rolling” with the title exam.
We are the beginning step of a very important real estate transaction; and very often, one of the biggest, and most rewarding, financial commitments you will make by becoming a homeowner!
In conclusion, since you now know that a title search is an exam of all records applicable to a particular property to determine if the current title is free and clear of liens and encumbrances, and why that is so very important; you now know why Crown Search Services providing a title search is so critical to your real estate transaction.
We look forward to serving you!