What is title insurance and do I really need it?

There are two types of title insurance, one is for lenders and is usually referred to as a loan policy of insurance and the other is for the owner of the real estate and is referred to as an owner’s policy of insurance. Although an owner’s policy of title insurance is not required, it is strongly recommended to every purchaser. Title insurance protects possibly the most important investment you will ever make. It provides you with protection against the loss of your property caused by somebody in the future finding a defect in your title and the peace of mind in knowing that the investment you have made in your home is safe. The loan policy protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender’s interest from certain matters which may exist but are not known at the time of sale. This policy only protects the lender. It does not protect you. That’s why you need an owner’s policy, which can be issued at the same time as the loan policy for a nominal one-time fee. The owner’s policy of title insurance protects you in the event a claim is made against your title. It will provide you with legal representation and, if you lose the property due to a title claim, it will reimburse you for the equity in your home up to the face amount of the loan policy.

For more information, please view this video.

Why doesn’t the attorney discover title defects when title is examined?

The attorney carefully examines the title by reviewing public records; however, even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title hazards are present. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. A few examples of the most common hidden risks that can cause a loss of title or create an encumbrance on title are: false impersonation of the true owner of the property; forged deeds, releases or wills; undisclosed or missing heirs; instruments executed under invalid or expired power of attorney; mistakes in recording legal documents and improperly indexing by the Clerk’s Office; misinterpretations of wills or wills not properly probated; confusion due to similar or identical names; delivery of deeds after the death of former owner; deeds by persons of unsound mind; deeds by minors; deeds by persons supposedly single, but in fact married; liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income or gift taxes; and fraud.

Will you accept a check from me at my real estate closing?

Under Georgia’s Good Funds Law (which is codified at O.C.G.A. § 44-14-13), our firm IS NOT PERMITTED to close and fund a transaction until we have “collected funds” in our trust account. “Collected funds” means funds deposited, finally settled and credited to our trust account. Collected funds DOES NOT include certified, personal or cashier’s checks. If you will be paying money at closing, you must make advance arrangements with your bank to schedule a wire transfer to our trust account. It is highly recommended you speak with your bank several days in advance of your expected closing date to be sure there are no delays in your wire. Call us and we will provide you with wiring instructions.

Is sending my money through a wire transfer safe?

You may have heard the stories of cybercrime and wire fraud being on the rise. As a result of the ever increasing and sophisticated ways criminals develop to hack our computers, steal our information and commit fraud, we require specific protocols to be followed in the ordering of a wire transfer. If we are handling your real estate transaction, someone from the firm will contact you and communicate with you closely to ensure proper precautions are taken to minimize the risks of cybercrimes and wire fraud.