Analyzing the Title Report

The title records the legal ownership of a property and the claims against it.

  • Ownership. The title identities the current owners of a parcel of property.
  • Claims. As important as the ownership, the title also identifies any claims against the property.

During the mortgage process, two institutions are normally involved in coordinating the ownership and claims against a property:

  1. Local records office. The records office, usually a department of the county, is responsible for recording a property's title ownership and claims against the property.
  2. Title insurance company. The title is normally inspected through the title insurance commitment, usually provided by the title insurance company or the seller's attorney.

Mortgage lenders always want to ensure that before they finalize and close the loan, they will have a clear and unimpeded lien on the property. Buyers will also want to ensure that the title is clear of unnecessary or damaging restrictions. A sample copy of a title insurance commitment is available to support this article.

This article only provides an introduction to some of the title issues that underwriters must analyze, with regards to the title. More detailed information can be found in the "Marketable Title" and "Title & Title Insurance" articles.

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