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Title Insurance: Protecting Yourself From Property Ownership Disputes

If you own a home, you no doubt have homeowner’s insurance. Like car insurance, life insurance, and most other types of insurance, homeowner’s insurance is there to protect you from losses that you may suffer as a result of a problem or catastrophe that happens to your home or other structure in the future. But there is one kind of insurance that is specifically designed to address problems that exist at the time the policy comes into effect.

When you are purchasing or selling a home or other piece of real property, title insurance is designed to protect against unknown events, defects, and claims as to ownership and title to the property that are present at the time of the transaction. It is a critical aspect of any real estate transaction that many people do not fully understand.

Title insurance protects owners and lenders from such things as another person claiming an ownership interest in the property, improperly recorded documents, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the insurance policy.

How does title insurance work?

During the purchase process, a search will be made of the public records to find potential title risks. Given that property records in Mississippi can go back centuries and involve a large number of transactions, this can be a long and tedious process. Records searched include deeds, mortgages, taxes, utility assessments, mechanics or other liens, wills, divorce settlements and other documents affecting title to the property. However, not all defects are found during the search and examination process, which is where a title insurance policy can be crucial.

Title defects can cause major problems for both residential and commercial property owners, buyers, and sellers. Without a clear title, the property’s marketability can be compromised. A potential buyer may be unable to obtain a loan to purchase the property which prevents the owner from being able to sell the property. Even the smallest title defect can create problems. Some common examples of title defects include:

  • Errors in public records
  • Unknown liens
  • Illegal deeds
  • Missing heirs
  • Forgeries
  • Undiscovered encumbrances
  • Unknown easements
  • Boundary/survey disputes
  • Undiscovered will

If a property owner is faced with adverse claims based on the kinds of issues set forth above, and those issues are specifically covered in a title insurance policy, the title insurance underwriter will generally be responsible for clearing title and paying legal expenses associated with these problems. However, making a title insurance claim can be complicated and, like other insurance companies, title insurers may not always live up to their obligations when claims are made. It’s important that you choose a Mississippi title insurer who you can count on.

Renaissance Title, L.L.C., a division of Rushing & Guice, provides title insurance services to our clients and lenders. As an agent for Chicago Title, Renaissance Title has extensive experience in the issuance of title policies, the analysis of various underwriting risks, and the curative actions necessary to obtain clear title.

Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C: Mississippi and Gulf Coast Real Estate Lawyers

If you are facing issues concerning title to a property you own, it is important that you consult with an experienced real estate attorney. At Rushing & Guice, experienced, aggressive, and innovative residential and commercial real estate legal services on the Gulf Coast are a phone call away. Call us at (228) 374-2313 or fill out our online form to arrange for a free, limited initial consultation. We look forward to hearing from you, and look forward to the opportunity to serve as your attorneys.

This website has been prepared by Rushing & Guice, P.L.L.C for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.