A title opinion is the written opinion of an attorney, based on the attorney’s title search into a property, describing the current ownership rights in the property, as well as the actions that must be taken to make the stated ownership rights marketable. Turner Law Firm, PLLC handles all aspects to insure both past, present and future issues of your property are free and clear.
A title search is an examination of public records to determine and confirm a property’s legal ownership, and find out what claims are on the property. A title search is usually performed by a title company or an attorney, who researches the vested owner, the liens or other judgments on the property, the loans on the property and the property taxes due.
Before you close a deal on the purchase of a home, a title company will search public records on the property’s ownership. Once the search is finished, you’ll receive a preliminary title report. If there are any issues or problems with the title, you can point them out to the seller. Some problems are easily cleared up while others may take so long that they jeopardize your loan commitment.
- Does the seller have a saleable interest in the property?
- What kind of restrictions or allowances pertains to the use of the land? These would include real covenants, easements and other equitable servitudes.
- Do any liens exist on the property which needs to be paid off at closing? These would be mortgages, back taxes, mechanic’s liens, and other assessments.
The process of a title search begins with searching for and retrieving each physical document from the books which contain them. Every document is recorded by date in a special set of volumes called by various names such as Grantor-Grantee Index, Land Records or Deed Records, which may or may not be digitized or scanned into a searchable file, depending on the financial resources of the county or town. An official stamp located usually at the bottom of the first page gives the name of the recording official, date, time, book and page number. If the document has been recorded, this stamp will always be there.
The collected documents are then reviewed and analyzed to see how each affects the property, and which documents have been released by subsequent recordings. Contingent conditions within documents such as life estates and remainder interests may exist within the document language. This process is often performed by a trained professional called a title abstractor. Some title abstractors have certifications documenting their experience level and training and successfully having passed an exam.
The document produced by a title abstractor is called a title abstract, or abstract of title. This is not a document which exists in public records, but it is derived from recorded documents. The title abstract is provided to the title company, attorney, or end-user by the abstractor.
For example, a title report may also show any easements, or recorded encumbrances against the property or portions of the property. Turner Law Firm, PLLC can assist in deciphering your title opinions.