Home Buying 101: What's Title Insurance, and Do I Need It?

A title is a written document that shows ownership of property. It includes the signatures of current owners and a legal description of the property. A title is also known as a deed. Before one closes on a new home, a title examiner will conduct a title search. This is a review of public records and legal documents to ensure that the seller is the true, legal owner of the property, and that there are no unsettled claims or liens against the property. Title insurance protects the lender (and possibly the homeowner) against losses that might arise from property ownership disputes.
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