Your home is your most vital asset. Make sure your investment is protected from any unforeseen threats that might challenge your ownership of your property.

As your title insurance professional, Commonwealth Suburban offers protection from future claims or losses due to title defects that are due to past events. While you may never need title insurance, not having it when you need it could end up costing you quite a bit – even your house.

Our Residential Title Services Include:

Commonwealth Suburban conducts a thorough search of the public documents associated with your property to identify any potential risks, which can include:

  • Unpaid taxes
  • Unsatisfied mortgages
  • Judgments and tax liens against the current or past owner(s)
  • Easements
  • Restrictions
  • Court actions
  • Forgery or fraud

In the event one of these issues comes up, a residential title insurance policy may protect you by A) Defending your title, B) Bearing the cost of settling the covered matter, or C) Paying you the loss due to the covered matter. All identified issues are included in a report given to you prior to your purchase of the property. We’ll also discuss with you how to resolve these items prior to closing.

Residential title insurance is typically made up of two different policies – an Owner’s Policy and a Lender’s Policy. Both protect each party’s financial interests and legal fees should the seller’s free-and-clear ownership of the house ever come into question.

Commonwealth Suburban offers three types of residential title insurance policies:

Lender’s Policy

The lender is typically required to have this type of policy to protect its own financial interests and legal defense costs, as well as reimburse any remaining mortgage payments you can’t make because you’ve lost the house over someone else’s claim. Lenders typically require buyers to cover the cost of this policy.

Owner’s Policy

An Owner’s Title Insurance (OTI) policy ensures that you are protected from any defects in the title that existed prior to purchasing your policy, such as liens, fraudulent signatures, improperly settled estates, or other encumbrances to the title.

Title Guarantee

A title guarantee protects the purchaser only from matters discovered on the examination of the record title, whereas, a title insurance policy insures certain defects that do not appear in the record examination.

Residential Titles FAQ:

The residential title is an important legal document providing evidence of ownership and protecting the property owner’s rights. The residential title typically includes important details like: 

Ownership Information: The property owners’ names, including the buyer and any previous owners. 

Property Description: A detailed property description, including address, legal description, and boundaries. 

Liens and Restrictions: Any existing liens, mortgages, easements, or other encumbrances that may affect the property’s ownership or use. 

Title Insurance: If title insurance is obtained, the residential title may include information about the insurance coverage, including the insurance company and policy details. 

Transfer of Ownership: Documentation of the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer, often included in a deed or other legal documents. 

Residential and commercial titles differ primarily in terms of the type of property they represent and the associated legal considerations. Here are some comparisons between residential titles and commercial titles: 

Property Type: A residential title pertains to residential properties like houses, apartments, condominiums, or townhouses, which are primarily used for living. Commercial titles relate to properties used for commercial or business purposes, such as office buildings, retail spaces, industrial facilities, or warehouses. 

Ownership Structure: Residential properties are usually owned by individuals or families for personal use, while businesses, corporations, or investors own commercial properties for commercial purposes. 

Use and Income Generation: Residential properties are primarily used for living in, while commercial properties are intended for business operations and generating income. Commercial properties may have diverse uses, such as retail, office space, manufacturing, or storage. 

Financing and Risk Assessment: Lenders and financial institutions evaluate residential and commercial properties differently regarding mortgage lending. Commercial properties may require a more detailed analysis of income potential, cash flow, market demand, and risk assessment compared to residential properties. 

Title Examination: Conducting a title search and examination for residential and commercial properties is similar in uncovering any potential title defects, liens, or restrictions.

Title insurance protects against financial loss or legal issues related to property ownership. It is commonly obtained during the process of buying or refinancing real estate. 

When you purchase a property, there is a risk that someone may have a claim or interest in the property that could affect your ownership rights. These claims can arise from various factors, such as previous liens or mortgages, unpaid taxes, forged documents, undisclosed heirs, or errors in public records. 

Title insurance helps protect you from these potential risks by providing coverage for certain losses or damages that may occur due to title defects.

Title insurance covers a range of risks and potential issues related to property ownership. While the specific coverage can vary depending on the policy and the jurisdiction, here are some common areas that title insurance typically covers: 

Title Defects: Title insurance covers defects in the property’s title before the policy’s effective date. This includes issues such as: 

  • Errors or omissions in public records. 
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs or previous owners. 
  • Forged or fraudulent documents. 
  • Mistakes in legal descriptions or boundary lines. 
  • Invalid or improper deeds or conveyances. 
  • Liens, judgments, or mortgages that were not correctly released. 

Restrictions: Title insurance may cover certain limitations that affect the property’s title, such as: 

  • Unpaid taxes or assessments. 
  • Mechanic’s liens for outstanding construction or improvement work. 
  • Easements or rights-of-way that limit the property’s use or access. 
  • Restrictive covenants or conditions that impact property use. 

Legal Expenses: Title insurance can also cover legal expenses in defending the insured’s title against covered claims or challenges. This includes attorney fees, court costs, and other related expenses. 

Loss of Value: If a covered title defect or claim results in a loss of value or marketability of the property, title insurance may compensate for the difference in the property’s value. 

Title insurance coverage is subject to policy terms, conditions, and exclusions. Not all issues or risks may be covered, and certain types of claims, such as environmental hazards or zoning violations, may require additional or separate insurance coverage. 

Not having title insurance exposes property owners to risks and potential financial losses. Here are some of the risks associated with not having title insurance: 

  • Title Defects 
  • Unpaid Liens and Mortgages 
  • Invalid Transfers and Conveyances 
  • Legal Expenses 
  • Loss of Property Value 
  • Stress and Uncertainty 

Title insurance provides valuable protection by mitigating these risks and providing financial coverage in the event of title issues or disputes. Obtaining title insurance is typically recommended as a safeguard to protect property owners from potential financial losses and legal complications. 

The terms “title insurance” and “title guarantee” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they can have different meanings depending on the context and jurisdiction. The terminology and legal framework surrounding title insurance and title guarantee can differ between countries and regions.  

You should work with a qualified real estate attorney or a title insurance professional who will consult local laws, regulations, and practices to understand these terms’ specific meanings and implications in a particular jurisdiction.  

Generally, the main difference between title insurance and title guarantee lies in their legal and contractual framework: 

Title Insurance: Title insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection to property owners and lenders against losses resulting from title defects or issues that existed at the time of the policy’s issuance.  

Insurance companies typically issue title insurance policies, and the coverage and terms are outlined in the policy contract. The policy premium is usually a one-time payment made during property purchase or financing.  

Title Guarantee: “Title guarantee” can refer to a different concept depending on the jurisdiction. In some countries, a title guarantee may refer to a system where a government entity or regulatory body guarantees the accuracy and reliability of land or property titles.  

This means that the government takes responsibility for ensuring the validity and accuracy of the titles. If a title defect or issue arises, the government may provide compensation or remedies to affected parties.