Ask the Real
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J.
Summary: Title insurance
companies offer two different types of title insurance policies: lender or
mortgage protection and owner's coverage. In this article, Ilyce Glink and Sam
Tamkin help a reader with his title insurance questio
Almost two and a half years
ago I bought a house. At the time of settlement, the title insurance company
charged us over $1,000 for a title insurance policy.
The problem is, they’ve never sent
us our title insurance policy. Despite our many reminders, nothing has shown up.
What can I do to obtain my title insurance policy?
While you may have paid for
title insurance at your settlement, you need to determine whether you paid for
the lender’s coverage or for your owner’s policy as well.
Owner’s title insurance coverage
protects the owner against a loss due to title defects not disclosed to the
purchaser at or before the closing of the purchase. The lender’s title insurance
policy protects the lender against title defects.
In some states, the owner’s title
insurance policy is ordered, and paid for, by the seller.
In other states, the
buyer orders and pays for title insurance. In just about all states, the buyer
pays for the title insurance policy covering the buyer’s lender. If you had a
lender, you must have paid for a lender’s title insurance policy. The only
question remaining is whether the $1,000 was for the lender’s policy only or
both the lender’s policy and an owner’s policy.
Depending on how much detail is
provided on your HUD-1 closing statement (also know as the title company
settlement statement or RESPA statement), the closing statement may itemize the
payments for title insurance by category. If the category was for lender’s title
insurance charges, you probably only paid for the lender’s title
If you are certain you paid for an
owner’s title insurance policy, you should contact the office in which you
closed on your property and ask them for the number of the department where the
title policies are issued.
Once you have that number, you
should contact the department to determine why there has been such a delay in
delivering the policy to you. If you are not successful in obtaining information
from the title company, you’ll have to make a demand, in writing, on the title
company to issue the policy. Send your demand by certified mail, return receipt
requested, or by some other means to insure deliver with proof of delivery.
You can then contact the regional
office of the title company to make your demand and even file a complaint with
the agency in your state that regulates title insurance
If you used an attorney to close
your transaction, he or she should assist you in obtaining the title insurance
policy. If you did not use an attorney, you may want to find one to figure out
what went wrong.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a
estate attorney. Ilyce R. Glink’s latest book
is 50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Sell Your Home Faster and For More Money In
Any Market. If you have questions for them, write: Real
Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe,
IL 60022 or contact them through Ilyce’s website