Author: Brandon Hysong

Commitment Issues, Vol. 1 – Title Commitment 101

No, no. This is not about problems with Commitments, or even about Buyers shopping for a home for over a year and still not happy with anything. This is a series about the Title Commitments that we issue and how to make sure you understand what you are reading. We want to go in-depth and help break down just what purpose the Commitment serves as well as its different components. The end goal is for you to be able to receive the Commitment and know exactly what the general items and terms are and how to navigate them.

The Nature and Purpose of the Commitment

The Title Commitment is a report prepared by the title company containing specific information about the property to be purchased or that is currently owned. It also legally binds the title company to issue a Title Policy – it’s a commitment. The Title Commitment, issued prior to closing, is the stepping-stone to issuing the final Title Policy, which is issued after closing. The Commitment is not the Policy, and the Policy is not the Commitment, although there will be similar information given and shared between the two.

Your Commitment will contain four parts: the Commitment Jacket, Schedule A, Schedule B I – Requirements and Schedule B II – Exceptions. Let’s parse out each of these components and give a brief run-down of what each one is.

The Commitment Jacket

The Commitment Jacket is general, non-specific coverage that is issued from an insurance underwriter (the Insurance Company) to the title company (the Insurance Agent.) This will be included with each Commitment that we issue.

Schedule A

A “schedule” in its basic meaning is simply a written form or statement of details. Regarding Title Insurance, the schedules give specific information about the property and transaction. Schedule A gives a general description of property concerning its property address, legal description, how title is currently vested, and what types of policies are going to be issued after the closing takes place.

Schedule B – Requirements

Schedule B of the Title Commitment is broken up into two separate sections: Requirements and Exceptions. The first section (Requirements) details specifically what is needed to pass clear title and issue a final Title Policy. If a purchase transaction, you will typically see some form of deed, mortgage, mortgage release, and an affidavit. If refinancing, the only difference will be no deed to convey ownership. There may be some additional items in the Requirements that will need to be addressed, depending on what is found and listed in the Exceptions.

Schedule B II – Exceptions

The Exceptions contain all things pertaining to and running with the specific piece of real estate as mentioned in Schedule A. The Buyer/Owner has free and clear title to the ownership and use of the said real estate, with the exception that their rights to use the property are subject to all those items contained therein.

Stay tuned for the next blog in the series, as we will dive further into discussion about each of the components that make up the Commitment. And even if things are still somewhat confusing afterwards, feel free to reach out and give us a call! It’s what we’re here for!

Five Common Misconceptions about Title Insurance

When it comes to purchasing a new home, you are making a long-term commitment with your money and your time. One oversight when purchasing is the consideration of the history of the home.  I do not mean the structural integrity of the home rather, the history of the legal title to the home. We are talking about the history of ownership of the land and the structure located on it. Title Insurance is a way of giving you peace of mind that you have full ownership of what you have just purchased, and that no monetary claims will arise from an individual or a business entity in the future. If that were to ever be the case, Tallgrass Title would have your back!

When it comes to Title Insurance, there are some pretty common misconceptions that might deter a buyer away from deeming it necessary. We want to help you navigate some of those misconceptions in order to make sure you are aware and get the coverage that you need.

If the Lender orders Title Insurance, the Buyer does not need to.

In most real estate transactions, the Lender involved will require Title Insurance. As discussed, Title Insurance protects from future claims of lack of ownership, liens, undisclosed heirship issues, ordinances, lack of right of access, etc. However, the insurance that the Lender requires only protects the Lender, not you as a Buyer.  Two separate insurance policies exist that Title Companies offer: a Lender’s Policy and an Owner’s Policy. Often, a Lender will require the Buyer to purchase an Owner’s Policy.  Most title companies offer a significant discount the the issue of simultaneous Lender’s and Owner’s Policies.

If I have Homeowner’s Insurance, then I do not need Title Insurance.

As previously mentioned, Homeowner’s Insurance only protects your home from damage caused by hail, fire and wind. Title Insurance protects your ownership and against aforementioned claims.

I have built a brand new home; therefore, I do not have to worry about ownership issues.

Although it is true that you are the very first owner of a home, the land that your home sits on has long been in existence and has had many previous owners. Title Insurance not only protects your house, but it also protects the land that your home is settled on!

Title Insurance is transferable from one owner to another.

While the idea that one owner can transfer Insurance to another does seem plausible, Title Insurance only covers specific owners of the specific property for their specific transaction for the duration of ownership. This coverage will end upon the transfer of the real estate, so each new owner needs to make sure they are protected.

Title Insurance is expensive.

When considering the amount of money being invested in your home, an Owner’s Title Insurance policy has very minimal cost, and unlike a Homeowner’s Insurance policy, Title Insurance is a one-time payment that protects you the entire duration of your ownership. Further, Kansas has some of the lowest title insurance rates in the nation.

Not only does Title Insurance protect you, but your Title Company will also be there to help you navigate through the milieu of Real Estate and give you the assurance you need while owning your home!  We are also here to answer your specific questions regarding what is covered.  This can at times seem daunting, but our trained professionals are here to assist in these regards.  That’s our job!