Security Title Company                                                                                                                                                           Dunedin, Florida
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a title?
A history of all transactions shown in the public records affecting a particular tract of land.

Why is transferring the title to real estate different from transferring the title to other items, such as a car?
Because land is permanent and can have many owners over the years, various rights in land (such as mineral, air or utility rights) may have been acquired by others by the time you come into possession of it, even if the land has never before been built upon. So in order to transfer a clear title to a piece of land, it is first necessary to determine whether any rights are outstanding.

What is a title search?
A title search is a detailed examination of the public records concerning a property. These records include deeds, court records, property and name indexes, and many other public documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller's right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects and other rights or burdens on the property.

What kinds of problems can a title search reveal?
A title search can show a number of title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions. Among these are unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller and restrictions limiting the use of the land.

Are there any problems that a title search cannot reveal?
Yes. There are some "hidden hazards" that even the most diligent title search may never reveal. For instance, the previous owner could have incorrectly stated his or her marital status, resulting in a possible claim by a legal spouse. Other "hidden hazards" include fraud and forgery, defective deeds, mental incompetence, confusion due to similar or identical names and clerical errors in the records. These defects can arise after you've purchased your home and can jeopardize your right to ownership.

What is title insurance?
Title insurance is your policy of protection against loss if any of these problems - even a "hidden hazard" - results in a claim against your ownership.

How much could I lose if a claim is filed against my property?
That depends on the claim. In an extreme case, you could lose your entire home and property - and still be liable to pay off the balance of your mortgage. Most claims aren't that dramatic, but even the smallest claim can cost you time, money and aggravation, and you may have to pay costs for a legal defense.

How does title insurance protect my investment if a claim should arise?
If a claim is made against your property, title insurance will, in accordance with the terms of your policy, assure you of a legal defense - and pay all court costs and related fees. Also, if the claim proves valid, in accordance with the terms of your policy, you may be reimbursed for your actual loss up to the face amount of the policy.

Are there different types of title insurance policies?
Yes. Basically there are two different types of policies - a loan policy and an owner's policy. The loan policy protects the lender's interest in the property in the amount of the outstanding balance of the loan. The owners' policy protects the buyer's interest in the amount of the purchase price of the property.

How much does title insurance cost?
Probably a lot less than you think. Charges vary in different sections of the country, but generally the cost of title insurance (including search, examination and related services) amounts to about one percent or less of the cost of the property. And unlike other insurance premiums, which must be paid annually, a title insurance premium is paid one time only, usually at settlement.

How long does my coverage last?
For as long as you or your heirs retain an interest in the property and, in some limited cases, even beyond.

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