Buying first home - Title Ins question

mamurphAugust 4, 2014

I've been a lurker for a couple of weeks and I decided that many of the users here are very knowledgeable when it comes to buying/selling and repairing homes. I decided that my first question would be posted here. Hopefully someone can help me out :)

My husband and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. We made it through the offer, the home inspection and negotiating repairs, and are finally in the last stages before closing which is end of August.

Our agent got us started with a title company and I was instructed to contact said title insurance agent and provide our ssn's because our last name is quite common.

She said they would use this to look for judgements. I informed her that I did have a civil judgement in a different state from where we are purchasing. I got this judgement long before I was married and in my youth and ignorance, just didn't take care of it. I did pay the judgement, earlier this year in fact. I am not on the mortgage, that is going to be in husband's name but I am going to be listed on the deed. The title agent said that it was good to know about this judgement before they started searching. I also provided her a document I received from the collection agency stating that I paid the amount and was no longer financially obligated to the company.

So there's the back story, here's the question: Is the title search just to find out if the property we are buying has any liens, judgements, issues, etc or will my judgement that I paid be an issue as well?

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Generally title companies looks for liens, etc. related to the property or the seller if those items might fall back on the property.

This post was edited by rrah on Tue, Aug 5, 14 at 9:05

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:04AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

unless you are a piece of property ... you are irrelevant ... lol ...

the insurance is insuring that the seller.. has a free and clear title.. to deliver to you.. for your money ...

you really dont want to buy a third persons house ... from a con man ... do you???

under that logic.. your background would seem irrelevant .. wouldnt it???

as to tradesman liens/judgements etc ... its a protection for third parties .. for money owed by the prior owner ...... again.. not from you ...

i am surprised your agent couldnt explain such ...

this is all wrapped up.. in the seller providing.. FREE AND CLEAR TITLE ... free from encumbrances like a judgement.. or tradesman lean .... or a 4th mortgage... etc....

and you pay for the insurance... the search... so you can refuse the sale.. based on such.. w/o breaching the contract of sale ....

and this legal advice is worth what you paid for it.. lol ... but i hope you can now check with your agent.. and understand.. the answer ...


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:19AM
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Thanks for the answers! I figured it was all irrelevant but I was concerned that my bad credit would come back to bite me again.

I appreciate the follow-ups!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 9:41AM
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I'd be real concerned about needing two provide my ssn to a title insurance company. It shouldn't matter at all how common your last name is. And since it's a one time fee, paid at closing, your credit score shouldn't matter to the title insurance company.

Something sounds fishy with this.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:14AM
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Title search/insurance is about the property and any entanglements it might have. Your SSN should not come into it at all. I'd definitely find out why they think they need it, and decline to provide it if there is not a reason related to the IRS or Social Security Administration.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:44AM
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If the title company is also handling the escrow, as is common in some parts of the country (here in CA we do not use lawyers), then yes, any and all efforts to avoid confusion, past present and future, are required. I would not hesitate to give a SS number.

For example, a future claim against John Doe is filed. Your paperwork is evidence that you are not THAT John Dooe.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:11PM
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Once again I agree with pixie_lou. The title insurance is for the property and has nothing to do with the buyer. Maybe your state is different, but I'd call a different title company and ask them if the buyer's SS# is needed for the title search. I wouldn't go into any explanations about your past credit.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 1:42PM
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I provided our SSNs because the title agency asked for it and our realtor told me that said title agency would need the SSNs. They may very well be taking care of the escrow too and that's why it was needed.

I was just concerned that my judgement, even though it has been paid, would throw a monkey wrench into the mix.

We are now dealing with qualification issues with the lender because of confusion between my husband's dad who is a Sr. and my husband who is the Jr. They both bank at the same institution, both have credit cards at the same institution. His dad's card, opened when my husband would have been 7 is showing on my husband's credit reports. We've disputed it several times and just can't shake it. I would not recommend this particular loan officer to my worst enemy. She told us that it had been through underwriting and was awaiting appraisal then she tells me we are going to have a hard time qualifying it now with this credit card in error showing.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 2:38PM
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why not get a letter from the bank stating:

Joe Blow Sr. has the following accounts and credit cards (fill in with the appropriate account and credit card numbers)

Joe Blow Jr. has the following accounts and credit cards (fill in with those appropriate account and credit card numbers)

send it to the loan officer

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 3:38PM
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new-beginning: The loan officer asked for me to send her a list of all the debts my husband has and account numbers. I sent that to her so hopefully it works.

We've had such a hassle with this loan officer that I would likely give up on buying a home if it falls through. If it goes through and we get the house, I will probably never move again.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 4:37PM
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There is an owner's title policy, which insures the buyer's title to the property, & there's a lender's title policy, which protects your lender

Be sure to read your title policy & consult the title company about any exclusions;
don't know if it's still the case, but title companies sometimes 'bound around' problems, which means that they had a big old king's x if a problem arose.

For instance, if there were an unresolved homestead issue (such as a former spouse of a former owner) or undocumented resolution of a problem (previous title company failed to record releases at the county clerk's office), the title company handling this conveyance would bind around the issue.

meaning that, if a problem arose concerning the former spouse or the unrecorded release, you'd have to go to the title company that had handled the sale when your sellers bought the house!

The lender's policy is a buyer expense;
you pay for the insurance that protects your lender from any cloud on the title caused by something you've done.

For instance, I had a house painter whose paint store had obtained a judgment against him because he hadn't paid his bill;
he had to pay the bill & get the judgment released before he could get a house financed.

Had the judgment not come to light before closing, the lender's title policy would (let's hope) have protected his lender.

so the short answer is...
yes, your title company needs to know that the judgment has been paid.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:43PM
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Everything has gone through fine and we are now waiting for our August 28 settlement.

We went on a vacation to Savannah, GA last week and just let the lender and title and realtor work their stuff out. We got back home yesterday and promptly received an email from realtor and lender saying that everything is fine. Loan approval happened, we have an owners policy for title insurance and a lenders policy. We scheduled the time for the final walkthrough and settlement.

We're going to finish packing. Thanks for all of the advice and thoughts everyone. Once we can get moved in, hopefully I can help some others on this board as a home owner!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2014 at 11:44AM
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