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Introduction to Title Insurance
Production of Title Insurance Commitment
The process of issuing a title insurance policy begins with a
search of the Public Records of the county within which the real
property is located. This search is usually done by the insurer
underwriting the policy, however the title insurance agent who
will actually issue the policy on behalf of the underwriter may
perform the search. A comprehensive search of the Public
Records requires the legal description of the real property, the
name of the current owner of the property, and the name of the
party that will be acquiring the real property interest that will be
A chain of title report or a title search report results from the
Public Records search. A chain of title report is simply a
chronological list of all documents that have affected the real
property or the parties involved in the transaction.
How the chain of title report is examined is somewhat dependant
on the type of transaction to which the title insurance policy is
related. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974
(“RESPA”) governs all residential transactions involving
property with four or fewer residential units that is being
financed by a federally insured lending institution. As it relates
to title insurance, RESPA requires that the title agent who will
actually issue the title insurance policy, not the insurer
underwriting the policy, to perform the examination of the chain
of title report. In such a case, it is the title agent’s responsibility
to examine the documents included in the chain of title report to
determine if any currently affect the title to the property or if
they do not affect the title to the real property and therefore will
not be included in the title insurance commitment or title
insurance policy as exceptions to the insurance coverage.
In transactions that are not governed by RESPA, the insurer
underwriting the policy will generally examine the documents
included in the chain of title report to determine whether or not
they currently affect the title to the real property.
The information that is gathered from the examination of the
documents included in the chain of title report will be used to
generate the title insurance commitment.
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Law Office of
Craig W. Little, P.A.