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Even while technology and the internet have greatly benefited us, personal information is increasingly vulnerable due to phishing schemes, data breaches, and greater access to information. Title theft has surged in tandem with identity theft.

Forging titles is becoming more popular among thieves as a means of obtaining personal property, although it is far less common than other forms of identity theft. However, what exactly is house title theft, and who is at risk of it? What can you do to avoid it if it happens, and what steps should you take?

In this post, let's find out all the answers you need to protect yourself from title theft.

What Is Home Title Theft?

The fraudulent transfer of a house deed into the name of another individual is a practice commonly referred to as deed theft or home title theft. Title thieves can counterfeit a deed so that it appears like they are the property owner by using stolen personal information.

Home title theft can happen in several ways if a thief obtains your personal information, including the following scenarios:

What Happens If Someone Steals A Property Title?

You can lose your property if someone steals the title without your knowledge. To avoid paying the mortgage, the burglar may refinance or sell your property, which could lead to a foreclosure. Nevertheless, if theft is discovered early on, acting quickly can reduce losses.

Use the procedures on the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) identity theft website if you believe someone is stealing your title. Among these steps are:

  1. Speak with the businesses where the scam happened.
  2. Get your credit reports and put up a fraud alert with your creditors.
  3. Inform the FTC about identity theft.
  4. Make a report to the police department in your community.

You must take these actions to notify authorities and your lender of any potential fraud as soon as you become aware of it. Making calls to relevant businesses, such as your title insurance provider and mortgage lender, will initiate the fraud investigation process.

If you retrieve your credit report and examine your other financial statements, you can discover other indicators of identity theft if you suspect title theft. For instance, you should look for any recently opened credit cards in your name, as well as any personal or auto loans for which you were not the applicant.

How Worried Should You Be About Your Title?

When it comes to title theft, your residence is the main target. However, there are also other types of identity theft that are not only more prevalent but also easier to carry out. People with large amounts of equity in their homes and do not suspect fraud are the most common targets of deed theft.

Sadly, this implies that elders are probably easy targets. Aside from the substantial equity in their residences, some seniors might not be as tech-savvy or struggle with health concerns, making it harder to pay close attention to financial matters and easier targets.

Title theft is less frequent than other forms of identity theft, yet it still happens. The FBI reports that real estate mortgage and rental fraud cost 9,600 victims more than $56 million in 2017. It's difficult to say how much of this fraud is directly related to title fraud at the moment. But over the past 20 years, identity theft has increased dramatically, and with it, so have occurrences of title theft.

Individuals who own second properties are also likely targets for house title theft. Distance increases the susceptibility of vacant properties, whether they are holiday or investment properties, to unsolicited rental or sale offers that would be quickly discovered on your primary residence. If you own a second residence, make sure you keep a close eye on bills and notifications, pay frequent visits, or assign a reliable property manager to check in on the house.

cybercrime identity theft protect yourself

How To Protect Yourself From Title Theft

While title fraud is rampant, there are numerous strategies available to protect yourself against title fraud. If you are attentive enough, fraudsters might know and avoid you. 

Therefore, the first step in keeping yourself safe from such incidents is to be vigilant, and you can do so by doing the following:

Vigilant people will either avoid you or find you soon. Keeping an eye out for possible fraud is the first step in protecting yourself. You can increase your level of awareness by doing the following.

Watch Out For Missing Invoices

If your regular bills start to disappear or change, there may be a problem. Get in touch with the business right away if you discover that you have never received a bill or that an automatic withdrawal has never occurred. It can just be a minor mistake, or there might be a problem.

In any case, by following up, you could spare yourself the headache. Being vigilant about your mail and bills will help you detect any strange activity early on. Additionally, it will ensure that you don't miss a notice of foreclosure or missed payment.

Constantly Check Your Credit And Credit Report

Even without the issue of title fraud, it's a good idea to regularly check your credit report. Every year, you should review your credit report. You should keep an eye out for any unexpected bills, credit cards you didn't apply for, late payments, or other fraudulent transactions. One good strategy to spot the warning indications of title fraud is to keep an eye on your credit score.

If you simply want to be extra safe or have experienced identity theft in the past, think about subscribing to a credit monitoring service. To ease your concerns, you can register for a credit monitoring program. Numerous proactive credit safeguards are provided by these businesses.

Secure Yourself And Property With Title Insurance

A title company verifies that the property's title is free and unobstructed. It protects the property from liens and claims made against it. Lender's and owner's title insurance are the two types available.

Your mortgage company requires a lender's title insurance, which guarantees that the title is approved for sale. After you purchase the property, your protection comes from an owner's title insurance policy. It safeguards you if, after you buy your house, any liens or claims are made or found.

When you purchase a property, title insurance is frequently included in the closing costs as a one-time expense. If you have chosen to have title insurance through your owner's policy, this will assist in shielding you against fraud.

Sign Up For Services For Title Protection

Recently, there has been criticism of title protection services, and it's primarily because homeowners have the option to independently verify their land records and title status or to register for a free county consumer text notification service. Many people have written off these services as being worth it because they offer information that is already freely available.

That could be valid if you have owner's title insurance coverage in this case. meanwhile, if you decide not to get insurance, you could be able to access a service that continuously tracks your records for $15 a month.

Beware of fraud artists posing as title protection suppliers. More people are falling victim to scammers as more people strive to get their titles. Make sure you do your homework and avoid answering enigmatic texts, calls, or emails that might be phishing scams or other scams. Make sure to get in direct contact with a reputable company if you choose to enroll in title protection.

Frequently Asked Questions On Home Title

Now that we're done with the basics, let's go over some of the most frequently asked questions concerning title theft.

Does home title theft exist?

First of all, home title theft is a real issue. Home titles were taken in several significant American cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, and Philadelphia, according to information gathered by the FBI. However, other types of identity theft are far more frequent and plausible. Before identity theft develops into property theft, you can detect early signs of identity theft by monitoring your mail, credit report, and personal information.

How often does home title theft happen?

Although the number of title theft cases is increasing, it doesn't happen very frequently. While there is an increase in many forms of internet crime, credit card fraud and wire fraud are two more prevalent forms of online identity theft.

Is it required to have home title theft insurance?

It is not required. When you close on your house, you can choose to have or not to have owner's title insurance. Nonetheless, it is sensible to purchase title insurance at the time of your house closing. Following your home's closing, you should keep an eye out for con artists pretending to provide title insurance or for typical con artists advertising title protection services.

Final Notes

Title theft is less frequent than other forms of identity theft, but identity fraud in general has increased recently. Online identity theft has increased as more of our information is available due to security breaches at major corporations and other sources.

If left unchecked, home title theft is a dangerous crime that can have catastrophic consequences. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to safeguard both your house and yourself, including monitoring your credit record, keeping a look out for unpaid debts, and getting title insurance. To defend oneself and stop title theft, you must be proactive.

If you want to learn more about your home's title and/or how you can protect it and your property, you may send us a message or call us at 317-214-6023 today!

Up until you begin the process of purchasing your own home, there is an important player in the real estate market that is frequently disregarded. 

The title business, which unites all the parties involved in the home-buying process under one roof, is the agent of agents. The buyer, the seller, and the mortgage lender are the three parties engaged in the acquisition of your home that your title firm represents. To approach your home purchase with confidence, it is vital to understand the distinct responsibilities and roles of the title firm.

What Is The Role Of A Title Company?

The title company serves as your home's compliance officer in many ways when you buy or sell it. They ensure that the ownership transfer is done correctly and that all legal formalities are met. Title companies offer a vital service for any home sale or refinance. The purchasing and selling of a house would be difficult without the administrative and legal assistance of your title firm.

Conducting A Title Search In Indiana

A title company's initial responsibility in a house transaction is usually carrying out an exhaustive investigation into the property's past. 

One of the tasks involves examining all previous transfers, owners, and liens to determine whether the title is clear and ready to be transferred to a new owner, 

While not all home transactions have title issues, it's good to be aware of what these problems are to know which ones to look for and how to avoid them.

In the previous post, we discussed the common title issues in detail. Below, we'll give you a brief overview of what some of these are:


Is a third party currently leasing the property? In that case, even if the seller or seller's agent neglected to provide this information, the title search will make it clear.


The IRS may put a lien on a homeowner's property if they fall behind on their taxes. In the event of a sale, the lien cannot be removed from the title until it is paid in full. A home equity line of credit, past-due HOA dues, and, most obviously, a mortgage are some other frequent liens. For the title to pass to the new owner, these must all be paid in full at closing.


The grant of a non-possessory property interest that allows the easement holder to utilize another person's land is known as an easement. The word "easement" refers to a certain kind of property right that the people using it own.

The title company will publish a report with its results once it's completed. The title search and report will disclose any current issues and claims on the title that can result in further litigation.

Without completing this step of the title process, mortgage providers will not grant a mortgage. Meanwhile, the home buyer and the mortgage company's investment were protected by removing obstacles from the title before the home sale.

Following the publication of the title report, the title company will produce a title opinion letter, which will affirm or deny the title's legality, as well as an abstract of the title, which is essentially a summary of the report.

filling out a title insurance document

Issue Title Insurance

The title company's next responsibility is to provide insurance that covers the lender and the buyer. 

The home buyer is required to purchase the lender's title insurance to ensure the value of the mortgage if there are any upcoming title problems. However, the said insurance will not protect home investment; title companies provide owner title coverage instead. 

Although most states do not need it, owner's title insurance protects the house equity if an unforeseen problem arises with your title. In the event of a lawsuit or title fraud, both forms of insurance are meant to safeguard your investment.

Escrow And Closing

Managing the escrow and supervising the closure of your house transaction is the last and most important duty of a title business. The escrow account protects the money transfers—such as earnest money, down payment, and closing expenses and fees—that are necessary to finish the sale or acquisition of your property.

The deed, title, and other legal papers are some of the documents the title business maintains and safeguards before the closing. When the time comes for your home to close, everyone usually gathers at the title office to sign the paperwork, finish any outstanding business, transfer the monies, and transfer ownership—all while being guided by the firm. While some states handle this phase through an escrow agency or real estate attorney, many states still employ the title business as the administrator of all closing processes.

Disbursing The Funds

Disbursing the closing funds is part of the closing process for your house. The loan proceeds will be mailed to the title firm by the lender. 

Meanwhile, the buyer will also give the title company a share of the closing money. Cashier's checks or wire transfers are some of the payment platforms accepted. The deal is considered completed once all payments are paid to the right party, which is the seller.

The Right Title Company

Now that you know the basics, the next step is finding the right title company in Indiana.

Just like how you would look for a reliable real estate agent, you should evaluate several title companies to see how helpful, responsive, and upfront they are about their procedures. 

Ask your real estate agent or attorney for referrals if you have trouble deciding which title firm is best for you. 

Every day, these professionals deal with title companies in real estate transactions, and they have reputable, courteous organizations that they will use again and time again. To learn how to choose the right title agency, click this link.

While buying a house is an exciting accomplishment, the formal process of becoming a homeowner involves several steps, from making an offer to signing papers at the closing table.

Every action you take is essential to safeguarding your future investment. Obtaining an inspection, a house appraisal, and a property title search are some of the most important steps. 

To help understand how doing a property title search might protect your new house, let's examine the significance of this process.

What Is A Title Search?

Usually, we assume that the home seller has the right to sell the house when you purchase one. That presumption, however, may come back to haunt you if someone else knocks on your front door and has a lien or claim on the property.

To establish the true, legal owner of a piece of land, a property title search is conducted to look through public records. Any liens or claims made against a property that can have an impact on a purchase should also be found through a title search.

Why Is A Title Search Necessary?

Discovering the property's owner is only the first step towards purchasing it. It's possible that the present owner isn't even aware of any prior claims to the title of the property. Because mortgage liens and other comparable debts, along with easements and restrictive covenants, follow the property and not the owner, you may be responsible for the debts of a prior owner.

If you choose not to have a title search performed or if the search reveals encumbrances such as unpaid property taxes, homeowners association (HOA) dues, and unpaid invoices for prior home modifications, you may be responsible for them. This is the reason that, as part of the mortgage underwriting procedure, mortgage lenders demand title searches and title insurance.

homeowner doing research about title company

How Do Title Searches Determine A Property's Owner?

A title search examines public records about a property. To establish a chain of title and verify that a sale is the legitimate owner, an attorney or title business will typically employ several legal documents. Additionally, the title search locates any monetary or legal claims made against the property.

The Process

The expert who searches public records for titles is known as a title abstractor. To create an abstract of the title, they compile all the pertinent data and court records they can locate about a property. A chronology of all obtainable documents and transactions about a property is included in the abstract of the title.w

The abstract may contain information about the property's historical and present owners, easements that traverse it, and any relevant wills or lawsuits.

The Findings

Financial rulings against the property's owner that could have an impact on your finances down the road can be found via a title search. Liens against the home, easements, and unpaid property taxes are a few possible issues with the title. You're happily ever after in your new house could be jeopardized by outstanding claims.

Your home title search needs to show that the property is free and clear to avoid problems in the future.

Thankfully, there are ways to reduce the possibility of a title claim against a property. For instance, you can obtain a title warranty or buy title insurance. 

For many house buyers, the one-time payment of a title insurance policy—which is typically between 0.5% and 1% of the purchase price of the home and included in closing costs—is worth it because it can help safeguard your ownership claim to the property.

Who Does The Title Search?

The title firm or lawyer usually handles the title search, although the lender or home buyer may also conduct this.

Should you choose to conduct the title search on your own, locations such as the county courthouse, recorder's office, and assessor's office will have the necessary records.

Allowing experts, like real estate lawyers, to manage this aspect of the house-buying process might be a wise decision. Untrained eyes may find legal paperwork confusing, leading you to miss something crucial.

How Long Does A Title Search Take?

Depending on how complicated the papers are related to a property, a title search's speed will change.

Multiple sources must be consulted to collect records for a title search, which could cause a delay if an office takes a long time to reply.

It can take a few hours or weeks for the title company Indiana examiner or attorney to go through the documents and find any unresolved claims once they are in their possession. However, title searches usually take a week or two to finish.

Old Home Vs New Home

There are usually fewer papers to look up in a newer house than in an older one. Due to its lengthier time on the market, an older home will probably have more records to evaluate. This may cause the title search to take longer.

You shouldn't rush your attorney or the title company Indiana examiner, even if it can be annoying to wait. To assist you in avoiding any future problems with the home, give them the time they need to complete their work completely.

How Much Does A Title Search Cost?

A title search typically costs between $75 and $200. Depending on the state you're buying in, the pricing may change. Upon completion of the investigation, you ought to obtain a report that is straightforward to read and highlights any encumbrances that need to be cleared up before proceeding with the acquisition.

If you conduct a title search yourself, the cost can be significantly reduced. However, this approach can take a while, and if you are uncomfortable using "legalese," you might overlook a lien or debt and fail to recognize that your title isn't free and clear. A title search will provide you confidence and peace of mind as you proceed with your property purchase, so it could be a smart idea to leave this stage to the experts and budget for the cost of title fees.

If you conduct a title search yourself, the cost can be significantly reduced. However, this approach can take a while, and if you are uncomfortable using "legalese," you might overlook a lien or debt and fail to recognize that your title isn't free and clear. A title search will provide you confidence and peace of mind as you proceed with your property purchase, so it could be a smart idea to leave this stage to the experts and budget for the cost of title fees.

Buying a home involves a long process, including a title search. And while it may take your time, money, and energy, it can help a lot, especially in avoiding bigger problems in the future. 

If you're planning to buy a home and conduct a title search, we're here to help. Call us at 317-214-6023 to learn more.

If you're still thinking about whether title insurance is just a "luxury" and not a necessity, then an article from The Washington Post might help.

It says that the chances of having an issue with a title are relatively high since most real estate transactions need "extraordinary work." While problems, such as outstanding liens, taxes, etc., might occur, title insurance offers a safety net to cover unexpected expenses. 

Doing a title search investigates for title defects that may prohibit the seller's legal transfer to the buyer. Doing this helps ensure that the title is "clean" and that the buyer has the peace of mind they need as they purchase a new property.

Below are the title issues that may arise before or after buying a home.

9 Issues To Look For During Title Search


One of the most frequent issues with title searches is taxes. If there are any outstanding taxes associated with the property, a preliminary report shows them. Before other financial commitments, such as mortgage liens, taxes should be settled first. Taxes must be paid off before any other debts can be settled with the money from the sale of these assets.

property taxes files with magnifying glass

Mortgage Liens

A title search finds out whether there are any mortgage liens on the property you want to purchase. Ignoring this cost could put you in debt because you could have to pay it back after the transaction. 

Restrictions, Conditions, And Covenants

Zoning conflicts, historic monitoring, and other restrictions might also impede or postpone the selling of a property. Thankfully, previous homeowners or their neighbors' boundary and survey limits can be found through title searches. No matter how tiny, try to find out whether there is a border issue on the land you plan to purchase. If not, unresolved boundary conflicts could surface and cause you trouble.

Any municipal zoning that limits the use of land in a particular district is also revealed by a title search. These limitations, which may include gardening and renovation regulations, specify the kind of property you are allowed to build in that zone. Condos and properties owned by associations are subject to specific covenants and regulations. It is imperative to conduct a title search for them before making a purchase. 


The right to use a portion of land without having ownership rights is known as an easement. It could be used, for instance, to allow access to a public beach or a property situated back from a main road. Typically, federal, state, or local entities are involved. 

The fact that easements are legally transferred with property ownership is the source of their problem. Only the parties concerned may choose to have them removed because they are legally binding agreements.

Unfamiliar Or Uninformed Heirs

Imagine purchasing a piece of land, and two months later, someone else appears claiming to be the heir. Purchasing a property from one or more of the heirs of a deceased owner frequently results in this situation. Make sure everyone is aware of the transaction and has given their consent; otherwise, heirs may appear and cause you a lot of bothersome issues that could prevent you from enjoying a quiet and comfortable life in your new house. 

All of these options are revealed by a title search, which also lets you know if the seller's will contains any restrictions on their ability to sell the property. The search makes sure the original owner didn't leave it to someone else who might show up and sabotage the deal.  

Illegal Deeds

This nation still has instances of illegal title issuance. The property you want to buy might have been owned by someone who entered the country illegally. You may have some problems as a result, but a professional title search firm can assist you in identifying this potential problem.  

Public Record Errors

Public documents should be accurate, yet mistakes are made by people. Errors happen when land officials file millions of deeds, paperwork, and surveys every year. These documents may include misspelled words, names, phone numbers, or addresses. All of these issues can be found with a precise title check before a house transaction is completed.

Divorce Edicts

An extensive divorce can have a significant impact on a family's financial security. Your house purchase may be delayed or derailed by divorce decrees. This can happen if the seller, who is divorcing, loses all or part of the property you are interested in purchasing in a settlement. 

You have to include the other party in the selling process as a result of this loss. The selling procedure could come to a complete standstill if the other divorcing party is not involved or if they decline to consent to the transaction. You can save needless problems and discover all these details by conducting a title search.


There are a lot of impersonators in home selling, and a properly executed title search can identify whether the sale of the house is a fraud. Impersonators can cause problems in many ways, such as stealing legitimate ownership names and other identity documents to employ in unlawful real estate transactions. When the true owner shows up, you don't want to waste your money on an invalid transaction. So, take your time and use a title search to confirm the information.

Indiana's Leading Title Company

Buying a home may not be as smooth and seamless as it should be; however, as long as you have the right support you need, it can be an exciting and fulfilling moment. 

IndyLegal is Indiana's leading title company that offers support in handling title searches, escrow services, insurance, settlement services, and more.

We help reveal and fix red flags to avoid further problems. Call us at 317-214-6023 to learn more about our offers.

Whether you're upgrading, downsizing, relocating for work, or preparing to retire, the decision to buy or sell a home is difficult. Whatever the reason for your move, there is a lot that happens between the time a "For Sale" sign is pounded into the seller's yard and the buyer receives the keys to the new house.

First-time home buyers and sellers, in particular, may be unsure of what to expect at closing or what a closing comprises from beginning to end. The closing process covers everything happening between the time the seller accepts an offer and the close date or the date when the buyer formally acquires ownership of the home.

The Closing Process

Here's a handy cheat sheet to assist you in comprehending each phase of the closing process:

Real Estate For Sale

Naturally, the seller's first action in the closing process is to market their home for sale. You must pick whether to work with a real estate agent (or listing agent) or sell the home yourself as the seller. An agent promotes the property, enters it into the MLS database, prepares paperwork, and communicates with the buyer's agent. The listing agent will often charge a commission for their services, which they will split with the buyer's agent.

Seller Shows Potential Home Buyers Around The Property

Once your home is listed, you must keep it clean, nice, and clutter-free to accommodate showings, which is a key part of the selling process. Allowing as many potential buyers as possible to view your home may increase your chances of obtaining several bids. It's usually a good idea to leave the property so that prospective buyers may look around without being distracted.

Re-stage the home every day in preparation for impromptu showings. Setting up a few evenings each week for showings could be beneficial. You may also want to schedule viewings by appointment only to give yourself more time to prepare. Your agent will provide a lockbox so they can enter the residence at the agreed-upon time. Your realtor may also advise you to host an open house to reach out to a large number of potential purchasers in a single day.

Buyer Makes Seller An Offer

After generating interest through showings, offers should begin to flood in - especially if your agent appropriately publicized and priced your home. In today's seller's market, this might happen as soon as your home hits the market. However, you may have to wait till after a few showings. In general, the better your home's condition, the more offers you'll receive and the easier it will be to justify the price.

A buyer's willingness to pay, suggested closing and occupancy dates, and any contingencies (such as the sale of the buyer's current home or a satisfactory home inspection) are typically included in an offer. Remember that the highest bid isn't always the best offer. For example, if the offer is contingent on the buyer's ability to finance the property, you could be back at square one. Your agent can help you assess the strength of each offer.

Buyer And Seller Negotiate

Negotiations between the seller and potential purchasers follow. If a seller receives an offer that they believe is too low, they can respond with a counteroffer to start the negotiating process. Furthermore, if a buyer is dissatisfied with the counter price, they may propose another compromise. Of course, negotiation strength is heavily influenced by market conditions.

In a seller's market, for example, buyers frequently lack bargaining strength. If a buyer's offer is too low or too laden with contingencies, the seller may choose not to negotiate. In addition, in a hot market, buyers must act swiftly, possibly making an offer the same day they visit the house. If you are a buyer who is not pre-approved for a loan, your offer will almost certainly be rejected in favor of buyers who can provide a pre-approval letter.

Home Inspection Is Arranged By A Home Buyer

After the seller accepts an offer, the buyer must schedule a house inspection. In addition to an appraisal, the buyer will almost definitely seek a house inspection within a few days of signing the contract to ensure they're making a wise investment. A home inspector will look at the house's structure, roof, electrical system, and plumbing. They will also inspect the interior and exterior of the home for faults, dangers, or mechanical problems, as well as pests.

After the inspection, the inspector will provide the buyer with a report detailing what was inspected and which repairs may be required. The seller should have delivered their seller disclosures before signing the contract. Homeowners are obligated by law to provide a complete disclosure of any challenges they face while living in the house that may have an influence on the property value or appeal of the home. Owners of properties built before 1978, for example, must disclose the existence of lead-based paint. The buyer proceeds to the following level if everything appears to be in order.

title service agent talking to home selller

Home Buyers Applies For Mortgage

The buyer should now proceed with the application for a mortgage loan from the lender of their choice. It's an excellent idea for a buyer to acquire quotations from multiple lenders, and you're not required to choose the lender who pre-approved you. Lenders will inquire about your earnings, job, debts, and assets. Prepare to present the following:

The lender can help you determine which type of mortgage is best for you. This could be a conventional or government-issued loan with a fixed or adjustable-rate mortgage (VA, FHA, USDA). You will be given a loan estimate that explains the terms of your loan, including expected closing costs, interest rate, and monthly payments (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

Home Seller Gives Contract To Title Company

Following the signing of the real estate contract for the purchase and sale of the home by the buyer and seller, the seller's agent should deliver the contract and earnest money check to a reputable title business, which will develop a working file for the transaction. To protect both the buyer and seller, the title company will open an escrow account and hold the deposit and contract until the closing.

Parties Go Over The Title Commitment

Shortly after handling your real estate contract, the title company will do a thorough title search to validate the property's legal ownership and find any claims or liens on the property. The company will then issue a title insurance commitment, which will be delivered to both the buyer and seller, as well as their agents, and will act as a guarantee to offer a title insurance policy for the property after closing.

Because the title commitment has the same terms, conditions, and exclusions as the actual insurance policy, the buyer should carefully review the document to identify any title problems. It could reveal whether the property has any easements, deed restrictions, or debts. If the buyer objects to an entry on the commitment, he or she must normally do so within a certain time frame, or the flaw will remain as an exception to the final policy.

Home Buyer Receives Mortgage Approval

Receiving mortgage approval, which can take several weeks, is an exciting moment in the closing process for buyers. Before approval, an underwriter will analyze your finances to see whether you can afford the house loan you want and whether the home you're buying provides appropriate collateral for the mortgage. After the underwriting staff has thoroughly evaluated your qualifying qualifications and awarded your loan final approval, you will be able to close on your loan.

Parties Agree On A Closing Date

When the buyer is ready to close, the parties must establish a closing date with the title firm. The closing will take place in your title agent's, real estate agent's, or attorney's office and will mark the completion of your real estate transaction. The parties should expect to sign a lot of documentation, including the deed to the property being transferred from the seller to the buyer. You may be able to sign portions of the documentation ahead of time in some situations. You could even be able to plan an online closing from the convenience of your own home or another place.

Closing Paperwork Is Prepared By The Title Firm

Once your closing date has been determined, the title company will begin preparing the real estate settlement documents for signature.

Buyer documentation could include:

Documents provided by the seller may include:

Home Buyer Obtains A Cashier's Check

At the closing, the buyer is responsible for paying closing costs, the down payment, prepaid interest, property taxes, and insurance. Instead of a personal check, you must submit a cashier's check drawn out in the amount specified by your lender or title insurer before closing day. Your bank certifies that you have sufficient funds to pay the cashier's check amount. Depending on the amount needed for closing, the title firm may require you to use a wire transfer to transfer funds straight from your banking institution to the payee's.

All Parties Are Present To Sign Documentation

On closing day, the parties may convene to sign the documents transferring ownership of the home to the buyer, as well as to pay closing costs, loan fees, and any relevant taxes. While you may be apprehensive as the big day approaches, you can put your mind at ease by gathering your papers, obtaining your cashier's check, and consulting with the title company and your real estate agent ahead of time. They will provide you with a list of items that you must bring to the closure.

Final Requirements Are Distributed

Once the closing is complete, there are only a few things left to do, including:

And You're Done!

After months of due research and preparation, it's time to celebrate - your closing has been 

accomplished, and the buyer is now the official owner of the home!

IndyLegal Is Here To Help!

We understand how stressful the process of buying or selling a home can be. Our knowledgeable title and closing specialists are here to answer your questions and help you with every part of your closing. We strive to make each transaction a great experience for all parties involved, whether you are a buyer or a seller.

Call us at 317-214-6023 to learn more.

Title insurance is a necessary component of the real estate sector, protecting both home buyers and lenders in the event of any unforeseen title issues with the property. 

It is a type of security that protects against financial damage caused by faults in a property's title.

In this post, we'll look at the significance and advantages title insurance provides to all parties involved in a real estate transaction.

To begin with, title insurance protects property buyers. When buying a home, the last thing a buyer wants to worry about is whether or not they have legal title to the property. Title insurance guarantees that the buyer will not be held accountable for any title concerns like liens or outstanding mortgages. Having this kind of protection is invaluable as it provides peace of mind and guidance to help them avoid costly legal issues in the future.

Title insurance also covers lenders, which is why it is typically required as a condition of a mortgage loan. Any problems with the title could jeopardize the lender's investment and title insurance ensures that loan providers will not lose money if there are any problems with the title.

mortgage approved with keys

Third, title insurance makes the closing process smoother and easier. Without title insurance, the closing process may be delayed owing to the requirement to resolve any title difficulties. 

If there are any concerns in the transaction, the title insurance firm will be able to address them. This allows both home buyers and lenders to proceed with confidence and save all parties involved time and money.

Fourth, title insurance is reasonably priced. The cost of title insurance is normally a one-time expense often included in the property's closing fees. The National Association of Realtors reports that the average cost of title insurance is roughly $1,200.

Furthermore, according to the American Land Title Association, the title insurance industry is a large contributor to the economy, with a total yearly economic impact of $18 billion. This demonstrates the significance of title insurance in the real estate sector.

Last but not least, title insurance gives lifetime protection. Once provided, insurance is valid for as long as the policyholder or their heirs have an interest in the property. This means that buyers and lenders may rest easy knowing that they are covered as long as they own the property.

Bottom Line

Title insurance may sound like an additional expense; however, it is a crucial component of the real estate sector since it protects both home buyers and lenders. 

It provides peace of mind, simplifies the closing process, is reasonably inexpensive, and provides lifetime protection. 

It is also an important aspect of the real estate business, contributing $18 billion to the economy each year. 

To learn more about this topic, you may visit our website today.

Buying a home is not just about looking for a place you like, and then paying for it; it can be an overwhelming process that involves contracts, paperwork, and people.

Now that you've gone through most of the challenging steps, such as finding your dream home and applying for and getting approved for a mortgage, you are ready to close the deal. But before getting a bottle of bubbles and celebrating, you still need to find the right title and escrow company for a stress-free closing process.

In this post, we'll look at how an experienced, efficient, and dependable title and escrow company may help with a variety of tasks that occur before and during the closing stages of a real estate transaction.

Importance Of Finding The Right Title And Escrow Company

Conducting Title Searches

This is an important stage in any real estate transaction that should be completed before the closing. It is the obligation of the title business to research and identify any potential dangers to the buyer's future ownership. To accomplish this, they examine judgments, utility assessments, hidden deeds, taxes, liens, and any other encumbrances that may impact ownership, such as forgery, unreleased mortgages, or undeclared heirs. 

The title company may even be required to investigate issues relating to zoning, use limitations, or improvement restrictions. There are a variety of potential issues that can arise during a title search, and while these issues can be easily discovered by examining public records, an unskilled person would not know what to look for. An expert title and escrow company will quickly detect any potential dangers that could jeopardize the buyer's ownership claim. As a result, the assistance of a reputable and professional organization is critical during this process.

Title Insurance Issuance

Title insurance is another service provided by title and escrow companies. Even while this method should assure that your title is clear of any encumbrances, it is nearly difficult to be confident that nothing will come up later that may jeopardize your property ownership. Once the title search has been completed, you want to ensure that you are covered against anything that was missed during the process, and the best way to do so is to obtain title insurance. A reputable title and escrow business will be able to give you a quality title insurance policy that will protect your investment.

title service company agents

Estimate The Closing Costs

It is the title and escrow company's job to offer complete information regarding the projected closing costs of the real estate transaction.

Assist With Closing and Escrow

During settlement, a title company may also act as a closing agent and/or escrow officer. In this scenario, your title firm will serve as a go-between for the selling and buying parties, ensuring that the relevant paperwork is completed and documented. The title business will also make certain that all money, including closing charges and down payments, is paid and disbursed correctly.

A reputable title and escrow business can make certain that your closing goes off without a hitch. Working with a local company that understands local, state, and federal regulations and how they affect the closing process is a huge benefit.

IndyLegal is an Indiana-based title company that can help with your title services needs. Call us at 317-214-6023 to get started.

Fraud, liens, judgments, forgery, unpaid taxes, clerical errors in public records, mental incompetence, and faulty deeds -- are some of the most common problems protected by title insurance that could compromise your ownership rights to the property.

This is where title insurance comes in; the title insurance will provide legal protection if a claim is made by the terms of the policy.

Title insurance fees may differ but are usually reasonable because it is a one-time expense during closing.

Common Title Insurance Protection Hidden Risks:

False Impersonation

If you buy a home that was previously sold by a person "falsely impersonating" a true owner, you risk losing your legal claim to the property. 

Forged Deeds, Releases, And Other Documents

Forged or fraudulent property ownership paperwork is frequently registered in public records, masking the genuine owner of the property. Your rights to your home may be threatened if these forgeries are uncovered.

Illegal Deeds 

While the chain of title on your property may appear to be flawless, a prior deed may have been generated by a minor, an undocumented immigrant, a person of unsound mind, or someone who claims to be single but is married. These occurrences may affect the enforceability of previous deeds, affecting prior (and presumably present) ownership.

Mistakes In Public Records

Mistakes or discrepancies in publicly filed records can affect your home ownership rights, and without title insurance, it can cause financial strain to fix them.

Unknown Liens

The previous owners of your new home may not have been careful bill payers or bookkeepers, which might result in debts. Now, even if you don't own or have anything to do with their previous debts, banks or other financial institutions might place liens against the property even after closing. 

Missing Heirs 

When a previous homeowner dies, anyone mentioned in his will, such as their heirs, may inherit the home. However, those heirs may occasionally be missing at the time of their death or other family members fighting for the will to protect their property rights may affect the rights of your property.

Unknown Encumbrances

You may be unaware at the time of purchase that a third party has a claim to all or part of your property due to a previous mortgage or debt, or non-financial claims, such as restrictions or covenants limiting your land's use, which could affect your ownership.

house deed with pen

Unknown Easements

An undisclosed easement may restrict your ability to use the property as you like or grant government agencies, businesses, or other people access to all or portions of your new home or land despite owning it. While it won't usually cause a financial problem, easements might affect your right to use your property. 

Disputes Over Boundaries And Surveys

Before purchasing, you may have seen numerous surveys of your property; however, other surveys with different borders may exist. As a result, another party may be able to claim ownership of a section of your land.

Protect Your Rights

Purchasing title insurance might sound like another expense; however, if you think of the benefits it can give you in case of an unwanted situation, you might realize that it's more of an investment. Not only will it help you financially, but it will also give you the peace of mind you need while you enjoy your new property.Do you have more questions about title insurance? Indy Legal is here to help! Send us a message here or leave a comment below!

Selling or buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions for most people. From the moment you start deciding on whether to buy or sell a new property up to the last process, there are many crucial (and often legal) considerations to make.

That might include choosing between a title company and a real estate attorney. While both of them have their own pros and cons, it all goes down to your specific needs and current situation.

To help you understand when you might choose one over the other, here are some comparisons:

Title Company

Title Search and Insurance

Title companies specialize in conducting title searches to ensure that the property's title is clear of any liens or encumbrances. They also offer title insurance, which provides financial protection in case any title issues arise after the transaction.


Title companies are often more cost-effective than hiring a real estate attorney because their primary service is focused on title search and insurance.


Title companies usually have streamlined processes for handling real estate transactions, making the closing process quicker and more efficient.

Standardized Services

Title companies often follow standardized procedures for closing real estate transactions, which can be helpful if you want a straightforward, well-established process.

Real Estate Attorney

Legal Expertise

Real estate attorneys are legal professionals who can provide legal advice, interpret and draft contracts, and protect your interests throughout the transaction. They can address complex legal issues that may arise during the process.


If your transaction involves unique or complicated circumstances, a real estate attorney can provide customized solutions and legal guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Conflict Resolution

Attorneys are skilled in dispute resolution and can help mediate or resolve conflicts that may arise during the transaction, protecting your rights and interests.

title company agent talking to new homeowners

Additional Legal Needs

If you have other legal matters related to the transaction, such as estate planning, trusts, or zoning issues, a real estate attorney can provide comprehensive legal services.

In summary, the choice between a title company and a real estate attorney depends on the complexity of the transaction and your specific needs. 

For a straightforward residential real estate purchase or sale, a title company may be sufficient and cost-effective. However, if you're dealing with unique or complex circumstances, or if you want the peace of mind of having legal expertise on your side, hiring a real estate attorney may be the better choice. It's often a good idea to consult with a professional to help determine the most appropriate option for your situation.

Our team at IndyLegal has over 50 years of experience and expertise with Indiana’s various real estate and title laws. So if you're looking for a reliable team to help you with real estate transactions, feel free to drop a comment below or message us here

The largest obstacle for potential home buyers can be finding the money for a down payment on a home. But how much of a deposit do you require? Usually, that depends on the loan type, your lender, and your priorities.

What Is A Down Payment?

A down payment is the cash you pay upfront to purchase a large asset, such as a house. A loan is used to pay back the rest of the purchase price over time. Usually, the down payment is shown as a percentage of the total cost. A 10% down payment would total $35,000 for a property worth $350,000.

When you apply for a mortgage to buy a property, the down payment is your contribution toward the purchase and represents your initial ownership stake in the house. The mortgage lender contributes the last amount needed to buy the home.

The majority of home loans have down payments required by the lender. However, some federally guaranteed loan types could not call for down payments.

Is 20% Down Payment On A House Required?

While it's true that many lenders utilize a 20% down payment as the cutoff point for mandating mortgage insurance on conventional loans, this is not the actual requirement. A 20% down payment is not required to purchase a home.

The usual first-time home buyer down payment in 2021 was 7%, according to the National Association of Realtors. For repeat buyers, the usual down payment was 17%.

Pro Tip

You might be able to achieve your goal of homeownership more quickly if you put less money down. A larger down payment, however, lowers the principle (and total lifetime interest payments), which can result in overall savings for you. Consider both sides before deciding what is best for you.

Requirements For Minimum Down Payment

Depending on the type of mortgage you intend to apply for, different minimum down payments are needed for different types of homes:

Home Loans With 0% Down Payment

Backed by the U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs (VA), VA Home Loans don't usually call for a down payment. These kinds of loans are available to qualifying surviving spouses and active-duty military personnel. US-backed USDA loans are available. The Rural Development Program of the Department of Agriculture does not additionally demand a down payment. Homebuyers in rural and suburban areas who meet the program's income restrictions and other standards are eligible for USDA loans.

3% Down Payment Mortgages

As long as income requirements are met, some traditional mortgages, such as HomeReady and Home Possible may only ask for a down payment as low as 3%. Conventional loans are not government-backed, but they adhere to the down payment criteria established by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

3.5% Down Payment Mortgages

If you have a credit score of at least 580, FHA loans, which are backed by the Federal Housing Administration, demand as little as 3.5% down. FHA loans require a 10% down payment if your credit score is between 500 and 579.

10% Down Payment Mortgages

Jumbo loans are home loans that exceed the conforming loan restrictions set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Because these large loans cannot be guaranteed by the GSEs, lenders typically need greater down payments to offset some of the risk.

The guarantee is paid for through fees or mortgage insurance, depending on the scheme, with low- or no-down-payment loans.

Advantages Of Big Down Payment

It takes time to save enough money for a sizable down payment, so a zero- or low-down-payment requirement may expedite your ability to buy a property. However, making a bigger down payment offers some advantages, including:

A lower interest rate on a mortgage. If you make a higher down payment, lenders may reduce your interest rate by a few fractions of a percentage point. Lenders are less risky when you borrow less of the home's value, and they tend to reward this with better terms.

More equity in your property. The value of your property less the amount owed on your mortgage is your home equity. In other words, it is the extent to which your property is considered an asset rather than a liability. More equity equates to more wealth.

A smaller mortgage payment each month. Borrowing less of your home's value reduces your principle, which means you'll pay less interest throughout the loan's term.

Lower initial and ongoing costs. Government-backed mortgage programs with low or no down payment minimize lenders' risk by insuring a portion of the loans. If a borrower fails on one of these loans, the lender will be reimbursed by the linked government agency. To help offset some of the costs, these loans may include one-time fees, such as the VA funding fee, or recurring fees, such as FHA mortgage insurance.

How Much Down Payment Should You Pay?

The appropriate down payment for you is determined by your goals and financial position. While a bigger down payment has several advantages, putting down too much may leave you short on cash once you move in.

If you put down less than 20% on a conventional mortgage, you will normally be required to pay for private mortgage insurance. Once you begin making mortgage payments, you can request that PMI be removed once you have more than 20% equity in your house.

Experiment with several scenarios to better understand how changing the quantity of your down payment affects other expenditures. 

man throwing money in the air

Other Things To Remember:

Your mortgage payment is only one component of your total home budget. With that in mind, consider the following variables when deciding on the size of your down payment:

Maintain some funds in the bank. Avoid utilizing all of your savings for a down payment. You could become "house poor," spending too much of your salary on mortgage payments or emptying your emergency fund.

Remember to factor in closing costs. It's also critical to have enough money on hand to meet closing expenses, which are typically 2-6% of the home's buying price.

Make a budget for the ongoing costs of homeownership. Even if you're buying a move-in-ready house, it's a good idea to budget for home maintenance and repairs, as well as unforeseen emergencies. Overall, you want to ensure that your down payment allows you to cover all of the expenditures of purchasing a home — as well as outfitting it once you've moved in. 

Look around. Do your homework and compare mortgage rates from three to five different lenders. Don't forget to look into lender programs and down payment help possibilities, especially if you're a first-time home buyer. 

These are just some tips when preparing for your dream home's down payment. If you have more strategies on how to do this, please feel free to share them below.

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