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TITLE INSURANCE ARTICLES

Title Insurance

Title commitment is not title insurance

By Christopher Combs | February 25, 2018

Question: Six months ago we signed a purchase contract to pay cash for a “fixer-upper” home in the Encanto area of Phoenix. The title commitment showed no title problems. We backed out of the purchase of the home during the inspection period because of a nasty neighbor. The nasty neighbor has now moved, and we have signed a new purchase contract to buy the home. If we already have a title commitment showing no title problems, why do we need another title commitment, or have to pay for a title insurance policy? Answer: If you close on the purchase of…

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Credit

Bad Credit Shouldn’t Cause Title Insurance Delay

By Christopher Combs | April 4, 2016

  Question:  We have lived in Arizona for more than six years and have a good FICO score. There is another individual with my name (even the same middle initial) who has very bad credit, including several judgments by credit card companies. I am now purchasing a Sun City home, and I filled out an identity statement for the title company. The title company said that there will now be a delay of at least thirty days in closing because of this identity confusion. After I was notified of the title insurance delay, the seller refuses to agree to an extension…

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Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action

By Christopher Combs | December 13, 2015

 Removal of Old Lien May Require Quiet Title Action   Question: In 2005, my sister deeded her home in Glendale to me and my wife. My sister recently died, and we want to sell this home. We thought that the title to this home was free and clear because the mortgage was paid off years ago. The title commitment, however, shows that in 1994 my sister recorded a lien on her home in favor of a bonding company to keep her son out of jail on a drug charge. The bonding company is no longer in business. How can we…

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Title Insurance Firm Should Mount Defense in Deed Dispute

By Christopher Combs | March 9, 2015

  Question:  We received a title insurance policy when we purchased our home in Sun City six months ago.  Last week we were served with a lawsuit by the seller of our home that alleges that he never knew of the sale of our home, and that the deed to our home was a forgery.  This lawsuit also alleges that we conspired with the real estate agent and the escrow officer to forge this deed.  We thought that we would have coverage under our title insurance policy.  When my husband contacted our title insurance company, however, our title insurance company…

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Buyer's Fund in Escrow Pays for Title Insurance

By Christopher Combs | November 16, 2014

  Question: In a recent column, you said that the buyer of a home pays for the cost of an owner’s title insurance policy issued to the buyer. In the standard purchase contract for a home, however, the seller pays for the cost of the owner’s title insurance policy issued to the buyer, and the buyer pays for the cost of their lender’s title insurance policy issued to the buyer’s mortgage lender. Were you confused? Doesn’t the seller pay for the owner’s title insurance policy issued to the buyer?   Answer: You are correct — sort of. The standard purchase…

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Title Company Wrong, but Buyer has No Recourse

By Christopher Combs | November 2, 2014

  Question: Our family has owned a convenience market in Glendale for more than 30 years. The lot next door to us has always been vacant. I remember my father saying years ago that if this lot was developed we might have a problem with parking. Last year we were notified that the owner of that lot submitted plans to Glendale to develop a beauty salon on that lot.  Although a beauty salon, or almost any business, on that lot would be better for us than a vacant lot, I was concerned about what my father said about parking. I…

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Use Warranty Deed to Add Hubby to Title

By Christopher Combs | September 14, 2014

  Question:  I have owned my home in Goodyear for six years by myself.  I got title insurance at the time I purchased.  I recently got married and want to add my husband to the home’s title.  Can I just record a quit claim deed to him?  Will I still have title coverage?  Who gets the home if one of us dies?   Answer:  You should generally record a warranty deed rather than a quit claim deed in transferring the title to a home or other real property.  If a quit claim deed is used, a title company could deny…

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Clarifying Title Commitment Versus Title Insurance

By Christopher Combs | July 27, 2014

  Question: In a recent column, you said that the title company would have no responsibility if the title commitment negligently failed to discover a “cloud on the title.” Isn’t that what title insurance is for? Can you please clarify?   Answer: I was trying to explain the difference between a title commitment and a title insurance policy. • A title commitment (formerly known as a preliminary title report) is delivered to the buyer by the title company without any cost to the buyer after escrow is opened. It has one purpose: to commit the title insurance company to issue a title…

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