An abstract of title is a booklet that contains the history of ownership of a piece of property whether it be vacant land, a house or a building. It is a records of all deeds, wills, mortgages, and other documents that affected the ownership of that particular property at the time.
The abstract is basically a chain of transfers from one owner to the next and any agreements by former owners that affect the property now. A big misnomer is that we as the “Abstract Office” are the keepers of all abstracts. However the property owner retains the original abstract until it is sold. It is then that is should be passed on to the next owner. Though there are many abstracts still in existence many lenders and purchasers are having abstracts converted into a Title Insurance Commitment/Policy.
Title insurance protects real estate owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property. Most insurances (health, car, home) are designed for problems that have not yet happened. Title Insurance is designed to protect against issues that have already occurred and are attached to the property. Lenders want title insurance when loaning money for property because it will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title as insured or will reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy. Unlike other insurances, with title insurance, you pay one premium until you refinance or sell.
A letter search involves researching the history of a specific property. This is usually from the current owner’s deed up or a specified date to present. It is a basic search of the records for documents that impact a piece of property during that specific time frame. It includes a search for conveyances, liens, judgments, lis pendens, property tax information, and outstanding mortgages.
Real Estate Closings:
When buyers or borrowers are using a Lender that does not have a local branch or perhaps the local branch prefers that the transaction be closed at our location, we provide closing services at our office.
We also provide closing services for individuals purchasing real estate without using a lender or in other words buying as a “Cash Transaction.”
Keep in mind we must be doing a Title Insurance Policy on the property in order to offer this service.