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Difference Between Special Warranty Deeds and General Warranty Deeds

By Christopher Combs | November 16, 2018

Special Warranty Deed vs. General Warranty Deed Question: We are buying an office building in Casa Grande that the seller purchased two years ago. The proposed purchase contract drafted by our attorney provides for a general warranty deed from the seller. The counter offer drafted by the seller’s attorney provides for a special warranty deed from the seller. In a recent column you discussed the difference between a quit claim deed and a special warranty deed. What is the difference between a general warranty deed and a special warranty deed? Answer: A general warranty deed is a warranty of good title…


Title Insurance Policy Covers Liability Scope

By Christopher Combs | October 18, 2018

Question: We purchased a five-acre lot last summer in the New River area. We had title insurance. We recently decided to build a home on this lot. Our construction lender required a survey. This survey showed that our lot is not five acres, but only four acres, because the legal description in the special warranty deed from our seller includes an acre of land not owned by our seller. Do we have a claim for damages against our title company for the loss of one acre?   Answer: Probably not. You should, however, have an attorney review your title insurance…


Title Company Requires Special Warranty Deed v Quit Claim Deed

By Christopher Combs | October 10, 2018

Special Warranty Deed v Quit Claim Deed   Question: My brother and I inherited a lot in Show Low, Arizona from our mother ten years ago. Since that time I have paid the property taxes, and I have paid for a retaining wall after significant flooding on the lot one summer. Last year my brother said that I can sell the lot and keep the sale proceeds. He then sent me a quit claim deed to the lot which I have recorded. I found a buyer for the lot and we are in escrow, but the title company is refusing to…

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…


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…


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…


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…


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…