What Does Title Insurance Protect Me From?

Whenever you buy a home/property, you expect to also enjoy some benefits from that ownership. For instance, you expect to be able to actually occupy & use the property as you like, and to be free from debts/obligations that are not created/agreed to by you. You also want to be able to pledge or freely sell your property as a security for any loan, if required. A title insurance is specifically-designed to cover all these rights that you bargain for.

How it Works

When title insurance is included in the purchase of a property, your title insurer becomes accountable for all the legal expenses incurred to defend the property title, in the event that someone challenges it. There are a number of situations in which you might require title insurance and the company that is responsible for it then takes on all the legal expenses to effectively defend that property. The condition being that you must own an interest in that property. In the event that the defense is unsuccessful, you are reimbursed for any value-loss of that property.

What is Covered?

Title insurance is also referred to as an Owner’s Policy. Generally, it is issued in the actual amount of the real-estate purchase. You pay a one-time fee at the time of closing & it is valid for the entire time that you/your heirs have an interest in that property. Only this kind of an owner’s policy provides full protection to the buyer in case any problem arises in the title. Title Insurance generally covers:

  • Forged deeds, undisclosed heirs, wills, mortgages, releases & other documents

  • Deeds by minors

  • False imprisonment of that land owner

  • Documents that are executed by any revokes/expired power of attorney

  • Fraud

  • Probate matters

  • Deeds & wills by a person who is of unsound mind

  • Rights of any divorced parties

  • Conveyances by any undisclosed divorced spouses

  • Adverse possession

  • Forfeitures of the property on account of criminal acts

  • Defective acknowledgments because of improper/expired notarization

  • Tax record errors

  • Mistakes & omissions that result in improper abstracting

Though these are the general things that are covered, certain coverage might not be available in a specific area/transaction on account of regulatory/legal/underwriting considerations. For more information about title insurance and how it works, speak with experts at ResMac Home Loans.

 

Do I Have To Continue Making My Mortgage Payment If My Lender Goes Bankrupt?

When mortgage lenders go out of business and are essentially taken over by the FDIC, homeowners are left wondering if they still need to make a monthly payment.

Great thought, and a very common question for many borrowers in the 2006-2010 timeframe.

The short answer is YES, you still have to continue making mortgage payments if your current lender files for bankruptcy or disappears over the weekend.

In order to give a more thorough answer to this popular topic, we’ll need to address the relationship between mortgage loans as liens and mortgage servicers who make money by handling payments.

To put this topic in perspective, 381 banks actually filed bankruptcy between 2006 and 2010 forcing them to cease their mortgage lending activities. And a common misconception borrowers have about their mortgage company is that their agreement should become obsolete once the lender files for bankruptcy or goes out of business.

Based on the way mortgage money is made, packaged and sold on the secondary market as a mortgage backed security, the promissory note (agreement) is actually spread between many investors who rely on a servicing company to collect and manage the monthly payments.

A mortgage is considered a secured asset, where the collateral is real estate.  And, the mortgage note has a separate value to investors and servicers based on the interest and servicing fees they have wrapped up in the monthly payments.

This is why many mortgage notes get sold to other servicers who pay for the rights to service your loan. So basically, even if a mortgage company is bankrupt, someone else is willing to take on the job of collecting payments.

Also, by signing a mortgage note, the borrower is committing to continue making the required payments, regardless of what happens to the mortgage company servicing your loan.

Bullets:

  • Your house is an asset
  • The mortgage note has a separate value to investors
  • Regardless what happens to your mortgage company, you need to make your payments

Also, it’s important to continue making your mortgage payments on time, regardless of which servicing company is sending a monthly statement.  Obviously, keep a good paper trail of those mortgage payments in case there is a mix-up between transitions.

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Who Owns My Home If I Have A Mortgage?

Many borrowers believe that when they purchase a property by obtaining mortgage financing, they also own their home.

Technically speaking, full ownership on a property only happens once the mortgage loan amount has been paid in full.

To break this down in more detail, there are a few components of a mortgage:

A Promissory Note is a document signed by the borrower acknowledging their commitment to pay the mortgage back with interest in a specific period of time.

In addition to the terms of repayment, the Note also contains provisions concerning the rights of both parties involved in the agreement.

In some states, a Deed of Trust is used instead of a Mortgage Note. The main difference is that on a Deed of Trust there is a Trustee, which the legal title is vested to in order to secure the repayment of the loan.

There are three parties involved with a Deed of Trust:

1) Trustor – This is the borrower

2) Trustee – This is the entity that holds “bare or legal” title, and is usually the title company which holds the Power of Sale in the event of default and reconveys the property once the Deed of Trust is paid in full.

3) Beneficiary – This is the lender that is getting repaid

Deeds of Trust are easier for lenders to foreclose on than a mortgage because there is no need for a judicial proceeding.

Mortgages on the other hand, have to go through judicial proceedings, which can be expensive and time consuming.

In summary, until you have your promissory note paid in full, you are not the only one with an ownership interest in your property.

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