Understanding the Title Search Portion of the Mortgage Process

by Kelly Richardson
Loan Page Columnist

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During the closing process, most lenders require that a title search be performed on the property. It's one of the services that you pay for in your closing costs, so it's useful to know a little bit about why and how the title search process works.

When you obtain mortgage financing to assist in paying for your new home, one part of the loan process is the title search. The title search is an inspection of all of the financial obligations involving the property in question. This includes such actions as lawsuits, liens, legal claims, and others actions that might impact the sale of the property.

Home Loan Process: Other Title Services

While it is the mortgage lender's responsibility to order the title search, the closing agent is the professional responsible for conducting the investigation. The primary goal of the title search is to protect the lender against the possibility of a fraudulent property sale.

Here are some other required title services that accompany the title search.
  • » Title Insurance: To protect the property from any unforeseen problems after the sale has been completed, you will be required to purchase title insurance. While you must purchase you mortgage lender's policy, the decision to purchase protection for yourself is up to you.
  • » Property Survey: Also included in your closing costs is a property survey. This action is performed in order to verify the property boundaries as listed in the home sales agreement.

Title Search Step-by-Step

A title search can usually be completed in a timely manner. Here are the steps most lenders take in order to conduct a full title search.
  • » The Search is Ordered: A team of examiners begins the title search down at the county or city courthouse.
  • » Processing: The title search is then given to a processor, who will then contact your mortgage company regarding the terms of your new home loan.
  • » Review: The title search ends with a review of all information by a title insurance underwriter.

You will receive the information during the closing process.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson covers the local education and technology scenes in major cities across the country. His articles appear in educational journals, periodicals, and e-zines.

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