Our goal, the goal of title insurance, is to protect possibly the largest and most important investment that you'll ever make. We provide, through the issuance of your title insurance policy, both peace of mind and financial protection for your real estate investment(s).
To achieve our goal, we perform an extensive search of the public record. A title search is the process of determining by the public record what rights there are in the property and who owns them.
Upon receipt of your title insurance order, we begin the process that will end with your closing and the issuance of the title insurance policy.
Our first step is to search our database to determine whether we have ever searched or issued a title insurance policy on the property. A prior file will certainly shorten the search work required and, in many instances, result in a lower premium to be paid.
We then order tax, assessment and utility searches on the property. This is a search to determine the present status of general real estate, water and sewer taxes, and other utilities, if any. The tax search will reveal any past due or unpaid taxes from previous years. In addition, the search will indicate the existence of any special assessments against the land, and if so, whether or not assessments are current or past due.
A county search is then ordered. Vested Title contracts with searchers in all of the state's county search vaults. If we are provided with back title (a prior title policy), we provide a copy to our searcher and have the search continued from the date of the policy to the present. If we don't have back title, we order a full (60 year) search. The county searcher searches the chain of title or history of the property. They search for easements, restrictions, agreements, mortgages, lis pendens, surrogate's records and county liens and judgments against all parties in the chain of title.
Upon completion of the county search, and prior to our issuing a title report or commitment, we order upper court judgment searches. Searches are ordered against all parties in the chain of the title for the past 20 years. The upper court search searches the New Jersey Superior Court, US District Court, US Bankruptcy Court, Child Support judgments, and DMV Judgments. The search will determine if there are any unsatisfied judgments against the seller, buyer, and/or prior owners that were in existence while they owned title.
When all of these searches have been completed, the title company issues a commitment to insure, stating the conditions under which it will insure title.
In addition to stating the policies that will be issued, the commitment states the requirements that must be complied with and the exceptions to title that must be cleared prior to or at closing of title.
At least 24-48 hours prior to closing, a title rundown should be ordered. This rundown, or continuation, will determine whether any additional documents have been recorded in the county record office affecting title to the property. The upper court search will also be updated.
Upon completion of the title closing and receipt of payment, we then order continuation searches through the day after the recording of the deed and/or mortgage to be insured. A review of the recorded documents, closing documents such as the Affidavits of Title, HUD-1/RESPA and the other proofs forwarded by the applicant, compliance with the title requirements and clearance of the title exceptions follows in preparation of the issuance of the final title policy.