When dealing with real estate, a title abstract is a condensed historical summary of a property's ownership. It includes details about past owners, any liens, mortgages, easements, or other encumbrances that might affect the property's title. Abstracts are created through a meticulous review of public records, including deeds, mortgages, court records, and more.
Title abstracts serve several vital purposes:
Title insurance is a policy that protects buyers and lenders against any potential issues that might not have been uncovered during the title search or were overlooked in the abstract. Unlike other types of insurance that protect against future events, title insurance covers events that occurred in the past, before the policy's issuance.
The title abstract is the foundation for issuing title insurance. When a title insurance policy is issued, the insurance company relies on the information provided in the title abstract to assess the property's history and associated risks. The insurer uses this information to determine the insurability of the title.
If any problems arise after the property is purchased, such as undiscovered liens or conflicting ownership claims, the title insurance policy steps in. It protects the policyholder from financial loss by covering legal fees, defending against claims, or compensating for losses as stated in the policy terms.
In the realm of real estate transactions, title abstracts and title insurance are interconnected components that offer protection and peace of mind to both buyers and lenders. The thorough examination of a property's history through title abstracts allows for informed decisions, while title insurance serves as a safety net, mitigating risks associated with potential undiscovered issues.
In essence, while title abstracts provide the historical context and information about a property's title, title insurance acts as a safeguard against unforeseen complications, ensuring a smoother and more secure transfer of property ownership.