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Title insurance protects mortgage lenders and buyers against ownership disputes. Title insurance has also changed with technology. The title services industry is experiencing a remarkable transformation propelled by title insurance technology and broader technological advancements in the insurance industry. 

This post will address future technological advancements poised to significantly impact the title insurance industry, particularly within the context of technological advances in real estate.

What Is The Future Of Technological Advances In Real Estate Title Insurance Industry?

1. The Automated Title Searches 

Title searches used to be done manually by looking through the property's public documents. The procedure is both time-consuming and costly. AI-driven automation, the landscape of title insurance technology, holds immense promise. It signals a future where data security and operational agility are paramount. Automation reduces errors and saves time and costs.

2. The Blockchain Technology

A digital ledger using blockchain technology safely and openly records transactions. Secure and transparent property record storage and management can be achieved with blockchain in title insurance technology advances. Real estate fraud and errors can be reduced with blockchain-based title insurance. It can also eliminate title insurance intermediaries, lowering title insurance costs for homeowners and mortgage lenders.

3. The Smart Contracts

Smart contracts automatically execute agreed-upon terms, helping ensure real estate transaction parties follow conditions. Title searches and transfers can also be automated to save time and money on title insurance.

4. The Remote Online Notarization

Online notarization is called remote online notarization (RON). Both homebuyers and mortgage lenders benefit from RON's reduced notarization costs and time. RON is trending in technological advances in real estate and is expected to grow.

notary using a laptop

5. The Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning

AI and ML automate property value, risk assessment, and fraud detection in real estate. These experts can also forecast property values and find investment opportunities. AI and machine learning methods help title searchers find titles faster by processing vast volumes of data. 

6. The Augmented And Virtual Reality

AR and VR allow homebuyers to examine properties from home with virtual tours, resulting in engaging experiences in real estate. To increase the likelihood of a sale, houses can also be virtually staged using AR and VR.

7. The Cloud-Based Platforms For Title Insurance 

These platforms let you securely store and access property records and other documents, which can significantly save time and money compared to the conventional paper-based title insurance process. Cloud-based technologies also allow homeowners and mortgage lenders to track title insurance activity in real-time, improving openness and reducing errors and delays. Like any technology, cloud-based platforms have risks.

8. The Predictive Analytics And Big Data Usage

Predictive analytics and big data could transform the sector by revealing market patterns, risk variables, and other elements that affect title insurance. Title insurance experts can make better decisions by identifying patterns and trends in significant volumes of data that may take time to be apparent. It helps mortgage lenders and real estate professionals determine where to invest and lend. However, predictive analytics and big data present challenges in the title insurance industry.

Conclusion

Technological advances will shape the title insurance market. These improvements pose data privacy and security risks, but ethical use can yield many benefits. This growth of title insurance technology advances underscores a pivotal shift towards digital solutions that streamline processes and fortify data security measures. Title Guarantee uses the latest technologies and offers excellent service to provide effective and secure title insurance solutions.

Title companies have a huge impact on the real estate business. Their responsibilities include verifying property ownership and clearing the title. Understanding the complex process of performing title searches shows how important it is to conduct thorough investigation and verification to guarantee the accuracy and integrity of property ownership.

To navigate this complex terrain, title searchers rely on various methods and tools. In this post, we'll look at how to verify property ownership and why it matters in title companies.

A Complex View On How To Verify Property Ownership In Title Companies

What Is The Title Search Process?

A title search is first performed when a title company is hired for property ownership verification. One of the primary purposes of a title search is to verify the seller's legitimacy as the property's transferor. Public records must be searched to find the property's present owner and any liens or encumbrances that can influence the title. 

Title searches typically examine deeds, mortgages, and tax records. They also look for outstanding easements, liens, or limitations that might impact the title or use of the property. Moreover, the outcome of a title search can have significant implications for real estate transactions, influencing the validity of property transfers and the resolution of potential disputes.

Checking The Chain Of Title

Making sure that there is a clear chain of title is one of the most crucial steps on how to verify property ownership. A chain of titles is a history of all the owners of a piece of land, beginning when it was first purchased and continuing to the present day. The title company will check the chain of title to guarantee that there are no breakdowns and that each transfer of ownership has been recorded appropriately. Title issues may arise if there are any breaks in the chain of title or if a transfer of ownership needs to be documented appropriately.

Verifying Encumbrances And Liens

Verification for liens and encumbrances should also be considered an essential part of the property ownership verification. 

To better understand how these work, let's find out their differences:

A lien is a legal claim enforced against property to guarantee debt payment. Meanwhile, an encumbrance is a restriction or limitation imposed on the property. Some examples of these that the title company would investigate to see whether or not they impact the title include an easement, mortgage, or unpaid taxes are some examples of encumbrances or liens. 

Before putting the property on the market, the title company will work with the seller to clear any unpaid liens or encumbrances.

Checking With The County Recorder To Verify Property Ownership

The title company will typically verify the ownership of the property with the county recorder's office once they have finished the title search and validated the chain of title; this is the standard procedure. 

The county recorder's office is responsible for documenting all real estate transactions in the county. 

The title company will confirm who owns the property by reviewing the recorded paperwork, including the deed and other relevant legal documents. In addition, they will confirm that the seller is legally permitted to sell the property.

title deed with blue pen

What Is Title Insurance?

There is always the possibility that a problem with the title could be overlooked, even while conducting the most exhaustive search possible. Because of this, title insurance is necessary to safeguard the buyer's investment in the property. 

Title insurance protects the policyholder against monetary damages that may be incurred due to issues with the title, such as an invalid title or liens that have yet to be identified. 

The title insurance coverage will compensate the buyer for any monetary damages if a title issue arises after the sale is finalized.

Conclusion

Property ownership verification is one of the most important stages in the real estate transaction process, and title companies are essential to this process as they conduct extensive title searches and property ownership verification. 

Showing the process and resources utilized helps us understand real estate transactions and the need for due diligence in protecting property rights.

Looking for a trusted title company in Indiana to help sell your home? If yes, our team at IndyLegal is here to serve you.

Call us at 317-214-6023 today so we can assist you!

Title insurance might not be the most thrilling aspect of buying a home, but it's undoubtedly one of the most crucial. In Indiana, as in many other states, understanding title insurance is essential for homebuyers to protect their investment and ensure a smooth transfer of property ownership. Whether you're a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, this comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about title insurance in Indiana.

What is Title Insurance?

Let's start with the basics. Title insurance is a type of indemnity insurance that protects both lenders and homeowners against financial loss due to defects in a property's title. These defects could include errors or omissions in public records, undisclosed heirs claiming ownership, forgery, fraud, or liens against the property.

Why Do You Need Title Insurance?

When you buy a home, you want to be confident that you're the rightful owner and that no one else has a claim to the property. Title insurance provides this peace of mind by conducting a thorough examination of public records to ensure that the title is clear before the transaction is finalized. Without title insurance, you could be at risk of financial loss or even losing your home if someone else challenges your ownership rights.

Types of Title Insurance

In Indiana, there are two main types of title insurance: owner's title insurance and lender's title insurance.

Both types of title insurance are usually required during the homebuying process, and while the lender's policy protects the lender, it's the owner's policy that provides protection for the homeowner.

The Title Search Process

Before issuing a title insurance policy, a title company will conduct a thorough title search to uncover any issues that could affect the property's title. This process involves examining public records, including deeds, mortgages, court records, tax records, and more. The goal is to identify any existing liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title that could jeopardize the homeowner's rights.

Common Title Issues

While most real estate transactions in Indiana proceed without any major issues, there are several common title issues that homebuyers should be aware of, including:

The Role of the Title Insurance Company

In Indiana, title insurance policies are typically issued by title insurance companies or agents. These companies play a crucial role in the homebuying process by:

While title insurance may seem like just another expense in the homebuying process, it's an investment that can save you from significant financial loss down the road. By understanding the importance of title insurance and working with a reputable title insurance company, Indiana homebuyers can ensure a smooth and secure real estate transaction. So, before you close on your next home, be sure to do your due diligence and secure the protection that title insurance provides. Your peace of mind—and your investment—depend on it.

Closing on a property can be both thrilling and daunting. Whether you're a seasoned investor or a first-time homebuyer, navigating the intricacies of the closing process is crucial for a smooth transition of property ownership. In Indiana, like in many other states, this process involves various legal and financial steps that demand attention to detail. To shed light on this often opaque procedure, we've consulted title experts to compile essential tips for navigating the closing process in the Hoosier state.

Understanding the Closing Process:

The closing process in Indiana typically involves several key steps:

1. Contract Review: Once a purchase agreement is signed, it's crucial to review the contract thoroughly. Ensure that all terms and conditions are clearly outlined and that there are no discrepancies or ambiguities.

2. Title Search: Conducting a title search is essential to uncover any existing liens, encumbrances, or ownership disputes associated with the property. This step helps identify potential obstacles that may affect the transfer of title.

3. Title Insurance: Securing title insurance is a fundamental aspect of the closing process. Title insurance protects both the buyer and the lender against any unforeseen defects in the title that may arise after the transaction is complete.

4. Property Inspection: Prior to closing, it's advisable to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the property to identify any structural issues or defects. Addressing these concerns beforehand can prevent complications during the closing process.

5. Finalizing Financing: For buyers relying on financing, ensuring that all mortgage documents are in order is essential. This includes providing necessary financial documentation and finalizing loan details with the lender.

Tips from Title Experts:

To navigate the closing process with confidence, consider the following tips from title experts:

1. Work with a Reputable Title Company: Partnering with a reputable title company can streamline the closing process and provide invaluable expertise. Choose a company with a proven track record of excellence and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

2. Communicate Openly: Effective communication is key throughout the closing process. Stay in regular contact with your real estate agent, lender, and title company to address any concerns or questions promptly.

3. Review Documents Carefully: Take the time to review all closing documents thoroughly before signing. If anything is unclear or requires clarification, don't hesitate to seek guidance from your title agent or attorney.

4. Be Prepared for Delays: While everyone aims for a smooth and timely closing, it's essential to be prepared for potential delays. Factors such as financing issues, title complications, or last-minute negotiations can prolong the process.

5. Stay Flexible: Flexibility is essential when navigating the closing process. Be prepared to accommodate scheduling changes, document revisions, or unexpected developments that may arise.

Closing on a property in Indiana can be a complex yet manageable process with the right knowledge and guidance. By understanding the key steps involved and heeding advice from title experts, buyers and sellers can navigate the intricacies of the closing process with confidence. Remember to prioritize communication, diligence, and flexibility to ensure a successful and stress-free closing experience.

Title issues can be a nightmare for homebuyers, potentially leading to legal battles, financial losses, and even the loss of property. In Indiana, like in many other states, there are specific title issues that homebuyers should be aware of to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, understanding these common title issues is crucial before finalizing any property purchase in the Hoosier State.

1. Missing Heirs or Undiscovered Wills

One of the most common title issues in Indiana arises from missing heirs or undiscovered wills. If a property owner passes away without a clear will or with heirs who cannot be located, it can create complications during the title transfer process. Even if the property has been sold multiple times since the owner's passing, unresolved heirship issues can lead to legal disputes, clouding the title and affecting your ownership rights.

To avoid such scenarios, it's essential to conduct a thorough title search and possibly even invest in title insurance to protect yourself against any future claims from unknown heirs.

2. Boundary Disputes

Boundary disputes can arise when there is confusion or disagreement regarding the exact boundaries of a property. This can happen due to inaccurate surveys, discrepancies in property descriptions, or disputes with neighboring landowners. In Indiana, boundary disputes can escalate quickly, leading to costly legal proceedings and potential loss of property.

Before purchasing a home in Indiana, make sure to review the property's legal description, conduct a survey if necessary, and resolve any boundary disputes before closing the deal.

3. Mechanic's Liens

Mechanic's liens can pose a significant threat to property buyers in Indiana, especially if the previous owner failed to pay contractors or subcontractors for work done on the property. These liens can remain attached to the property even after a change in ownership, potentially leading to foreclosure if left unresolved.

Before finalizing a property purchase, it's crucial to ensure that all liens against the property have been satisfied or discharged. Working with a qualified real estate attorney can help you navigate this complex aspect of property transactions.

4. Easements and Right-of-Way Issues

Easements and right-of-way issues can restrict how you use or develop your property. Common examples include utility easements, which grant utility companies access to install and maintain infrastructure on your land, or access easements, which allow neighboring properties to access roads or utilities through your land.

Before buying a property in Indiana, carefully review any existing easements or right-of-way agreements to understand how they might affect your intended use of the property.

5. Forged or Fraudulent Documents

Unfortunately, forged or fraudulent documents can sometimes surface during property transactions, casting doubt on the validity of the title. Whether it's a forged deed, a fraudulent mortgage, or a fake release of lien, these documents can create a legal nightmare for unsuspecting homebuyers.

Another crucial role that title companies play is in facilitating the closing process. They act as neutral third parties during the closing, ensuring that all necessary documents are signed, funds are transferred securely, and the transaction is executed according to the terms of the contract. Their presence helps streamline the closing process and minimizes the risk of errors or misunderstandings.

To protect yourself against forged or fraudulent documents, work with reputable title companies, conduct thorough due diligence, and consider investing in title insurance to safeguard your investment.

In conclusion, while purchasing a home in Indiana can be an exciting milestone, it's essential to be aware of the common title issues that could jeopardize your ownership rights. By conducting due diligence, working with experienced professionals, and investing in title insurance, you can mitigate the risks and enjoy a smooth and worry-free homebuying experience in the Hoosier State.

In the world of real estate transactions, there's a silent but indispensable player: the title company. Often overlooked, Title Companies play a crucial role in ensuring smooth and secure real estate transactions. Nowhere is this truer than in the state of Indiana, where title companies act as the guardians of property rights and the facilitators of seamless transfers of ownership.

Understanding the Role of Title Companies

Firstly, let's demystify what a title company actually does. At its core, a title company specializes in researching and verifying the legal ownership of a property. They delve into historical records, comb through deeds, and check for any liens or encumbrances that could cloud the title. This meticulous process is aimed at providing assurance to both the buyer and the lender that the property can indeed be transferred free and clear of any disputes or legal issues.

Ensuring Clear Title

In Indiana, as in many other states, the concept of "clear title" is paramount in real estate transactions. A clear title means that the seller has the legal right to sell the property without any outstanding claims against it. Without a clear title, a transaction can be delayed or even fall through entirely, causing frustration and financial loss for all parties involved.

This is where title companies shine. Through their exhaustive research and examination of property records, they uncover any potential issues with the title early on in the process. Whether it's an unpaid tax lien, a boundary dispute, or an overlooked easement, title companies work tirelessly to resolve these issues before the closing date, thus ensuring a smooth transfer of ownership.

Providing Title Insurance

In addition to their research and due diligence, title companies also offer an invaluable form of protection: title insurance. Title insurance protects both the buyer and the lender against any defects in the title that may have been missed during the initial examination. This safeguard provides peace of mind and financial security to all parties involved in the transaction.

Facilitating Closings

Another crucial role that title companies play is in facilitating the closing process. They act as neutral third parties during the closing, ensuring that all necessary documents are signed, funds are transferred securely, and the transaction is executed according to the terms of the contract. Their presence helps streamline the closing process and minimizes the risk of errors or misunderstandings.

In the bustling realm of real estate, title companies operate quietly but indispensably, serving as the backbone of transactions. Within Indiana's landscape, where property rights hold profound importance, these entities are instrumental in safeguarding the integrity of each transaction. As you navigate the complexities of real estate dealings, take a moment to recognize and value the invaluable contributions of title companies, ensuring the smooth and secure progression of every endeavor.

When buying a home, it's wise to conduct a property title search, which might reveal any financial or legal entanglements associated with the property. If you're financing the purchase, it's usually mandatory. This is because, in real estate transactions, liens on a house or other unresolved title issues must be addressed, protecting both buyers and their lenders.

If you want a deeper understanding of what it's about, you can check the following resources:

Nonetheless, here are some basic things you need to know about title search.

What Is A Title Search?

A title search looks up public records to trace the ownership of a piece of real estate, identifying the buyers and sellers over the property's lifetime. Some of its objectives are:

Why Perform A Title Search?

The main purpose of property title search is to ensure that a property is free of liens, which are legal claims made against it due to unpaid bills, unpaid taxes, or other financial responsibilities. 

This is why mortgage lenders typically demand them. The revenues from the sale of a property must be utilized to settle any legitimate liens. In a real estate transaction, the seller usually bears the responsibility but as the new owner, you may also become the beneficiary of any lien that is tied to the property and isn't evident at the time of sale.

In another sense, the true cost of the house to you might be the purchase price plus the total amount of any liens you inadvertently take on. Such a surprise is avoided with a property title search.

While fraud and forgery are undoubtedly possible, most title flaws discovered by property title searches are the result of harmless errors. Due to the mistakes made by courts or municipal clerks or the lienholder neglecting to notify the debt's discharge, some liens continue to exist even after the original financial obligation has been satisfied. 

Although they are frequently easily resolved, they must be addressed before the lenders give the final loan approval.

Some cases that become more problematic are when a seller who inherited a home is not aware of a lien placed one or more generations ago and needs repayment during the selling process.

What Can a Property Title Search Reveal?

A comprehensive property title search can uncover any liens that may be attached to a property through the dozens of legal procedures available. The following are a few of the most typical lien kinds that may appear:

Mechanic's Lien: If your home is undergoing significant construction, it is customary for the contractor to file a mechanic's lien, which establishes a claim on the property to protect them from unpaid labor and material charges. The contractor should get the lien released once you pay for the work, but that doesn't always happen. Mechanic's liens also usually have built-in expiration dates, but selling the home before the date can hinder the sale.

Tax Lien: Homes whose owners neglect to pay their property taxes may be subject to liens from municipalities and other taxing authorities, including school, fire, sewage, and water agencies.

Overdue Homeowner Dues: If a homeowners association governs a house or condominium, the association may place a lien on the property to recoup past-due assessments or other costs. Usually, these need to be resolved during the selling process.

Spousal Or Child Support Lien: Court-ordered spousal or child support may be the subject of a lien placed against the noncompliant parent if the parent is unable to pay the required amount.

Civil Judgment: This happens when parties that win compensatory or punitive damages in civil litigation may bring claims against the other party's real estate and other assets.

conducting a title search

How To Conduct A Title Search

Your lender will probably need you to commission a property title search from an abstractor -- a professional service provider whose price is usually included in your closing costs if you're financing a home with a mortgage. 

It may be advisable to leave the work to the professionals because title search fees (which usually range from $75 to $200, depending on the prevailing rate for your area and the complexity of the required search) are not very expensive when you take into account the cost of a home and the possible expense of undiscovered title flaws.

However, anyone can perform a property title search because they are based on public records. This is the method to follow:

Bottom Line

A property title search is necessary because title defects might cause delays or failures in acquiring your real estate or leave you with a home that has unresolved legal claims against it.

Doing it might be daunting, but still, other than being required by the mortgage lender, a title search can add the peace of mind you need in case of a problem with your property. 

If you need reliable title services, such as title search for your property, our team at IndyLegal is here to help!

Call us at 317-214-6023 to get started.

Diving into real estate, whether as a buyer, seller, or agent, might be intimidating, especially with all the different terms around. 

One of the many words you may encounter is title insurance -- an important term that serves as a beacon of security for many.

In this post, that's what we're going to focus on. We're going to know what it's really about and why it's important for both lenders and house buyers.

So without further ado, let's get started.

Understanding Title Insurance

In the world of insurance, title insurance is a little mysterious. Title insurance is all about the past, while most insurance types, like health and car, guard against possible future events. In particular, it protects lenders and purchasers of real estate against any problems or disputes relating to the title or previous ownership of the property.

Title insurance ensures that the property you are purchasing is clear of liens or unreported claims. It acts as a safeguard to make sure that future unanticipated claims won't jeopardize your home ownership.

The Underlying Need for Title Insurance

Let's picture this: You have just bought your dream home, the biggest buy of your life. After a few months, you learn that someone else believes they are entitled to your property because of an old lien or an outstanding lawsuit from a prior owner. Strange, isn't it? This is the situation in which title insurance is useful.

Other than that, these are the other advantages a title insurance can give you:

Legal Protection

You have a strong defense against these unforeseen claims with title insurance, regardless of whether they are the result of unpaid taxes, concealed liens, or even possible fraud.

Peace Of Mind

You can rest easy knowing that you have title insurance. The certainty that you have coverage takes the place of concerns about future property disputes or unreported claims.

Lender's Peace Of Mind

Are you going to mortgage your home? Your lender will require confirmation of any title flaws. That same protection is provided to them by title insurance, and consequently to you.

Cost-Effective Solution

Title insurance is a little fee to pay for the piece of mind it provides, even if any additional costs during the home-buying process may seem onerous. Recall that the closing costs are one-time.

The Title Search: The Unsung Hero

An in-depth title search is done before concluding a title insurance coverage. A thorough review of deeds, court documents, previous sales, public records, wills, and other materials is part of the procedure. The objective is to guarantee that there are no flaws or problems with the property's title.

However, even with their thoroughness, title searches may not find every possible issue. For this reason, the ensuing insurance coverage becomes quite useful.

signing a title insurance form

Types of Title Insurance: Know Your Options

In general, there are two kinds of it:

Owner's Policy

It's all about you, the buyer of the home. It is intended to shield you against several potential dangers, such as unidentified heirs, previous fraud, boundary disputes, and mistakes in public records.

Lender's Policy

This is mostly to the advantage of the mortgage lender. It guarantees that, even in the event of title problems, the lender's interest in the property will be protected.

The True Significance of Title Insurance

Defense Against Legal Troubles

In the unfortunate event that a claim is filed, title insurance provides a financial and legal safety net. You won't have to engage in a costly court battle on your own to defend your property rights.

Unwavering Peace of Mind

The fact that having title insurance enables you to settle into your new home without worrying about any unforeseen title difficulties cannot be overstated.

A Lender’s Requirement Fulfilled

Title insurance is often required by your lender if you're applying for a mortgage. Getting it will guarantee a more seamless loan application process, which is advantageous to all parties.

Financially Sound Decision

Although title insurance has an initial cost, it is modest in comparison to the possible future legal expenses if it is not purchased.

Conclusion

The process of buying a home is complex and involves a lot of paperwork, worry, and enthusiasm. Amid all of this, title insurance is a rock of security. It's an essential component of making sure your house is yours, not just another item to cross off your to-do list when buying a house. Remember to moor yourself with title insurance as you set out on this property-owning journey; it is your rock-solid shield in the turbulent waters of real estate ownership.

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:

Leases

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.

Liens

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.

Easement

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.

8315 W. 10th Street
Indianapolis IN 46234
317-214-6023

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