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Covenant Title Company Recognized By TREPAC

February 20, 2019

Covenant Title Company was awarded a certificate to signify our status as a 110 Club Member of the Texas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee. TREPAC is a voluntary, nonprofit consisting of Realtors and other interested parties who share the goal of protecting and preserving private property rights. The certificate recognizes our “outstanding contributions to the promotion and preservation of the real estate profession and private property rights.”

How Long Does Title Insurance Last?

April 25, 2018

When you purchase a home, you’re handed a stack of closing documents to keep. These documents include a title, purchase agreement, seller disclosures, and home inspection reports. You should also have a copy of your title insurance policy.

Some homeowners file their policy and find it years later, unsure of whether they need to shred it or continue to keep it tucked away in a drawer. Some documents, if they expire, can be chunked. Something that lasts until you sell your home, like title insurance, should be filed with other important documents.

Disposing of the policy after you sell

Your title insurance policy is in effect as long as you own the property. The policy is valid for the length of your home ownership and will help you if a title problem occurs. Hold on to the document as long as you own the property. This will protect you, and your heirs, from title risks.

Why you should file your policy

If you have an issue and need to contact your title insurer, your policy will give you all the information you need. You don’t want to be stuck without knowing who to contact when you need help, so keep track of your policy. The great thing about title insurance is after you pay the one-time premium, you can stick the policy aside since you don’t have to worry about keeping up with payments. For this reason, many people misplace their policy.

As long as you know which title company you worked with, you can get another copy of your policy if you need to. Keep in mind that after you sell your home, it is best to hold on to old documents for a few years. You can dispose of most documents in a shredder after a few years time.

Understanding the importance of title insurance

Your title insurance policy is as important as the other documents you were given during the closing process. Title insurance could keep you from massive legal fees due to a title dispute.

Obtaining title insurance is a simple and affordable process. If you have questions about title insurance, contact Covenant Title Company, a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest. As an independent insurance agent, we have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. We also offer closing services. If you have questions about the closing process, call Julie Lamm at (806) 354 -5283 or Contact Us by email.

Avoiding Mortgage Closing Scams

April 18, 2018

Scammers use phone calls, emails, and letters to persuade people to send important financial information their way. These scammers often target those in the process of buying a new home. If you are in the market for a new home, you should be aware of email phishing scams reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A common email phishing scam

The FTC said homebuyers have reported receiving emails from scammers near the closing date on their loan. The emails ask homebuyers to wire their down payment and closing costs. The scammer impersonates a real estate agent, title company, or attorney. A scam email typically says something about a check being no longer acceptable or that the wiring instructions have recently changed.

What to do if you are being scammed

Speak to your real estate agent or title company if you are receiving suspicious instructions via email. Never share financial information through email. Do not share your phone number or try to speak to someone you believe is attempting to scam you. Use caution when opening an attachment or downloading a file from an email unless you are sure of who sent the file. Files sent my email may contain malware.

Safely wiring money

Before sending a wire transfer, ask your bank to help you identify any red flags in the instructions. Check for potential discrepancies between the account name and intended beneficiary. A few hours after the wire transfer, be sure to confirm receipt of the transfer by your settlement agent or real estate agent.

Consulting your title company or agent

Your settlement agent and real estate agent want the process of home buying to go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, a title company may handle the closing process. Title companies can also offer their expert advice. These are trusted avenues to turn to if you are unsure of something related to the home buying process. Your title company and real estate agent are there to help you with the home buying process, so don’t feel you have to do it alone.

Covenant Title Company is a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest. As an independent insurance agent, we have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. We also offer closing services. If you have questions about the closing process, call Julie Lamm at (806) 354-5283 or Contact Us by email.

What Is An Abstract Of Title In Real Estate?

March 29, 2018

Abstracts of title are written histories of the recorded documents and proceedings of a property. When a property is sold, a title company or attorney will go through property records and prepare a written history. Abstracts Of Title are generally prepared for oil companies. If you are purchasing a home and obtaining title insurance, it is usually unnecessary for you to purchase an abstract. There are several important differences between abstracts of title and title insurance. If you are unsure which you need, continue reading to learn more about these important documents in real estate.

What does an abstract of title include?

The person, or company, purchasing a property should know about any liens or title issues. Any unknown claims, like an ex-spouse claiming partial ownership, could cause future problems. The abstract will show everything noted in property records about the property being sold.

The abstract of title is a thick stack of paper. The document includes liens, like mechanic or mortgage, and tax liens. If taxes are in arrears, these liens take precedence over other liens. You can lose a property if the liens are not paid. You may also find homeowner association (HOA) liens. If the owner did not pay their HOA dues, there may be a lien against the property.

The difference between title insurance and an abstract of title

Purchasing an abstract of title is not the same as purchasing title insurance. Reviewing an abstract of title provides a lot of important legal information regarding the property – but it does not protect you after the purchase. On the other hand, title insurance is used to protect the purchaser against title issues. Some states require an abstract of title as a starting point when purchasing title insurance. If you are purchasing or refinancing a home in Oklahoma, you are required to purchase an abstract. This step is not a requirement in Texas.

It’s important to understand that title insurance protects the purchaser against loss from issues that have already occurred, such as a forgery in the deed. If you have questions about title insurance or whether or not you need to obtain an abstract of title, contact Covenant Title Company, a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest. As an independent insurance agent, we have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. We also offer closing services. If you have questions about the closing process, call Julie Lamm at (806) 354 -5283 or Contact Us by email.

title insurance

6 Questions To Ask About Title Insurance

March 22, 2018

Title insurance is a measure to protect the buyer and issuer of a mortgage loan from title problems during the transfer of a property. If a title dispute occurs, the policy would pay for legal damages – depending on the coverage.

New home buyers are tasked with a number of financial decisions before closing on their home, and some forget to address the issue of title insurance. If you are getting ready to purchase title insurance, here are 6 questions you should ask. These questions will give you a better idea of the coverage you need and what you should look for in a title company.

Is the price of title insurance regulated?

Title insurance rates in the state of Texas are regulated, and that goes for most other states too. You won’t see much of a price difference between insurance companies. Even though there is not much of a price difference, a smart consumer should look at two factors when choosing a company: the quality of the title search and the policy.

The title company searches through property records to ensure there are no clerical errors, undisclosed heirs, mistakes in record examination, fraud or unknown liens. The search ensures the seller owns the property and is within their legal right to sell it. You should find a company that is trusted within the community to do a thorough search.

How much title insurance coverage do I need?

The average title insurance policy is relatively standard. Owner’s policies protect against many contingencies like undisclosed heirs, fraud, and forgery. If you want even more coverage, the cost will increase. Some lenders will require additional coverage on your property or mortgage.

Who usually pays for title insurance?

In most residential property transactions in the state of Texas, the seller pays for the owner’s policy and the buyer typically pays for the lender’s policy. The party responsible for buying the two policies varies from state to state. This part of the transaction is negotiable. If you purchase both policies from the same company, there may be a discount.

Can the seller push a specific company?

If you are paying for title insurance, you can select the title company. If you are not paying but want to choose the company, you will likely have to share in the costs. A fresh set of eyes could bring problems to light so you may want to use a different company than the seller used.

Who can I trust to guide me?

Look to your lender for advice. You share the same interest as your lender, as you both want things done right the first time. The lender is giving you a large amount of money based on the assurance that the property being used as collateral really belongs to you.

How much reassurance will I need?

Banks and insurance companies usually stick around for quite a while, but they sometimes go under. If you want to verify the underwriter issuing your policy is sound, check their financial solvency with companies like Demotech Inc. or Fitch Ratings.

Search the title company and underwriter online to see what customers have to say about their service. Look for experience, excellent customer service, and stability. Covenant Title Company, a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest, has been providing title services since 1997. We have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. Our skilled professionals have a combined experience of over 100 years. Contact Us with any questions you may have about insurance.

The Closing Process: What New Homebuyers Can Expect

February 16, 2018

Finding the perfect home for your family and securing a mortgage are usually the most difficult steps for a new homebuyer. Although the closing process requires a few additional steps, it typically goes well for most new homebuyers. If you are in the final stretch of the home buying process, you may wonder how the closing process will proceed. Here we will talk about those additional steps and what you can expect during the closing process.

A review of your disclosure form

You will be given a closing disclosure form a few days before closing. It’s important to look at this form thoroughly. Use this time to spot any errors or conditions of which you were not made aware. The form will outline your mortgage payments, the loan term, and any additional fees you will pay at closing. The closing costs will be anywhere from 2 to 7 percent of your home’s price.

One final walk-through

A homebuyers contract usually includes time for a final walk-through of the home. During this walk-through, you will make sure the previous owner has vacated the home and the home is in the agreed upon condition. If the seller agreed to fix problems discovered during the home inspection, this is the time to ensure these repairs were made.

Documents essential to closing

You will need to bring proof of homeowners insurance, your home inspection reports, a copy of your contract, a photo ID, and anything the bank required to approve your loan. You will also bring your down payment. The agreed upon down payment will be outlined in the disclosure form. Before the closing, ask if you should bring a cashier’s check or wire transfer the funds.

What to expect on closing day

Several people will be present as you complete this important transaction. These people will include the seller, the seller’s real estate agent, your real estate agent, a representative from a title company, and sometimes a representative from the lender. Expect to sign your name several times during closing. You will have to put your signature on a stack of legal documents, so be ready for a slight hand cramp.

Don’t panic if things go awry during the closing process. Someone may be late to the meeting, a name may be misspelled, or a document might go missing. Do everything in your power to make sure the day goes smoothly but don’t stress if things need to be fixed before you can close. Everything usually goes well and you leave the closing with the keys to your new home.

Covenant Title Company

Covenant Title Company, a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest, has been providing title services since 1997. As an independent insurance agent, we have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. We also offer closing services. If you have questions about the closing process, call Julie Lamm at (806) 434-3409 or Contact Us by email.

Understanding The Basics Of Title Insurance

February 16, 2018

Title insurance is an important part of a typical real estate closing. The protective measure insures the property title for the benefit of the purchaser. Many first-time home buyers or investors don’t fully understand the necessity of title insurance. If you need help understanding this important measure, the following information will help you gain a basic understanding of title insurance.

The initial search

When a property is bought, sold or financed, a record of the transaction is typically filed in public archives. Also archived are other events with the potential to affect ownership, such as liens or levies. If you buy title insurance for your property, a title company will search these archives to find and remedy any type of ownership issue. Issues such as wills, deeds, or trusts containing incorrect names or improper vesting are sometimes found. These issues can be fixed before closing on the property.

The underwriter will determine whether the title can be insured after the search is complete. The search minimizes the risk of offering insurance and allows you to fix any issues before you purchase the property. Once the risk of offering insurance is minimized, the insurance company can offer a reasonably low, one-time fee.

What title insurance covers

Title insurance covers any events that occurred before the insurance was issued. Let’s say there is a lien for taxes not paid by the owner of the property, but the owner has not owned the property for 60 years. You may have coverage under your insurance policy to deal with such an issue.

You could lose the right to your own property because of fraud, errors in previous deeds, or forgery. The owner’s policy protects the purchaser from any covered risks, such as those above, listed in the policy.

Why title insurance matters

If you, the purchaser, did not have title insurance, several different scenarios could cause issues for you in the future. One serious problem would occur if the seller knowingly sold you a home he or she didn’t actually own. In cases such as this, renters have posed as sellers.

Typical title issues are not as extreme. For example, your seller may have co-purchased the home ten years prior with a brother they haven’t spoken to in years. The seller may be unaware they need to get the brother’s signature to sell. Your policy may also step in to help if there were liens filed against the house. Generally, these debts include child support, taxes, and contractor’s fees.

Covenant Title Company

Covenant Title Company, a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest, is staffed by skilled professionals with combined experience of over 100 years. We have provided title services since 1997. Contact Us with any questions you may have about insurance.

Call us at 806.354.5283