Title Reports: The Basics
In my 29 years working with fiduciaries and their attorneys, borrowing on behalf of trusts and estates is no simple matter, with complex probate, national and local real property finance lending laws. The intricacies of dealing with title companies and the three types of title reports are key to the process:
Property Profiles that a title company provides typically disclose property characteristics, current vesting, a tax report, sale comparables and the deeds of record (grant, quit and trust). Each property has three ways of identification, all of which appear in a complete property profile: common address, legal description and assessor’s parcel number. However, it is important to not rely on a property profile as a guarantee or warranty that the title is as represented. This is crucial information for the fiduciary and their attorneys to understand before preparing a plan for a client.
Preliminary Title Reports will disclose any involuntary liens that have attached to title under the current, or prior, ownership. As with a property profile, a preliminary title report is not a guarantee, warranty or representation that the title is subject to the liens reported or that the report includes all the liens that might affect title to the property.
Title Insurance Policies are issued after completion of a transaction (and the deed/s have been recorded in the local county assessor’s office). This policy is a guarantee, warranty or representation of the title vesting (subject to policy limitations), and that the title is subject to the liens reported – or that the policy includes all the liens that might affect title to the property. In limited situations, probate financing companies that specialize in challenging title issues may be able to proceed without a title policy.