There are several types of title searches, each serving a specific purpose in real estate transactions. The most common types of title searches include:
- Full Title Search: A comprehensive search that examines the entire history of a property's title. It includes a thorough review of all recorded documents related to the property's ownership, liens, encumbrances, and any legal issues.
- Owner's Title Search: Typically conducted for residential properties, this search confirms the current owner's legal right to sell the property. It focuses on the current state of the title and may not delve as deeply into the property's historical records.
- Lien Search: Primarily focused on identifying any outstanding liens, such as mortgages, unpaid taxes, judgments, or other financial claims, that could affect the property's title.
- Mortgage Title Search: This search is performed by lenders to ensure that there are no undisclosed liens or legal issues that could jeopardize their mortgage interest in the property.
- Foreclosure Title Search: Conducted before a foreclosure sale, this search confirms the validity of the lender's claim to foreclose on the property due to unpaid debts.
- Chain of Title Search: A search that traces the historical ownership of the property back through all previous owners, providing a complete ownership history.
- Judgment Search: Identifies any outstanding judgments against the property or its owner that may affect the title.
- Tax Lien Search: Focuses on identifying unpaid property taxes or tax liens that could result in the property's sale to satisfy the debt.
- Title Commitment: Typically performed by a title company before issuing title insurance, this search confirms that the property's title can be insured and outlines any exceptions or issues that must be addressed.
- Limited Title Search: A more focused search that examines specific issues or time periods in the property's title history. It may be used to address specific concerns or questions about the property.
The specific type of title search needed can vary depending on the nature of the real estate transaction and the issues or concerns involved. In many cases, multiple types of searches may be conducted to ensure a clear and marketable title for a property. It's essential to work with experienced title professionals to determine the appropriate type of search for your specific situation.