Information regarding real estate property title.

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Title is a legal document establishing evidence of ownership.

Certificate of Title

An opinion rendered by an attorney as to teh status of title to a property, according to the public records. This certificate does not hold the same level of protection as title insurance.

Title Insurance

An insurance policy that protects the insured against loss arising from a property ownership dispute. Title insurance policies are typically obtained for the buyer and the lender.

Title Search

An examination of the public records to determine the ownership and encumbrances affecting the property.

Title Report

A document indicating the current state of title. The report includes information on the current ownership, outstanding deeds of trust or mortgages, liens, easements, covenants, restrictions, and any defects.

Chain of Title

Chronological order of conveyance of a parcel of land from the original owner to the present owner. An abstractor can research title to property going back to the date the property was granted to the United States.

Free and Clear Title

A marketable title, free of liens and legal questions as to the ownership of the property. Most lenders require a clear title prior to closing.

Cloud on Title

In contrast to a free and clear title, a clouded title has an outstanding claim or encumbrance that, if valid, would affect or impair the owner's title.

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