Title FAQ

1. What is meant by "Title"?

“Title” is the foundation of ownership property. A Florida title gives you a legal right to possess that property and to use it within the restrictions imposed by authorities or limitations on its use, superimposed on the basic right to possession by previous owners.

2. What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is used by homebuyers and lenders for protection against back taxes, undisclosed liens, legal judgments, forgeries, fraud and a host of other potential legal/financial problems that can arise when purchasing or refinancing property.

3. Do I need Title Insurance?

Most definitely! Title Insurance is a means of protecting yourself from financial loss in the event that problems develop regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protect you from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

4. Why does buying a home differ from all other purchases?

No other property has a useful life that compares with that of land. Owners die, new ones succeed, but land goes on forever. Owners of goods may change their locations at will, but land is immovable, it lends itself to the absorption of innumerable rights. Over the ages, this so impressed lawyers and jurists that they formed a separate body of laws for land. These laws, creating many types of rights in land, are so numerous and so complex it is impossible for there to be a mathematical certainty of ownership.

5. Since the lender already requires Title Insurance, won't that protect me?

Not necessarily. There are two types of Title Insurance. Your lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender's Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. Most lenders require this type of insurance, and typically require the borrower to pay for it.

An Owner’s Policy, on the other hand, is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. Title troubles, such as improper estate proceedings or pending legal action, could put your equity at serious risk. If a valid claim is filed, in addition to financial loss up to the face amount of the policy, your owner’s title policy covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

6. What is a title defect?

Anything in the entire ownership of a piece of real estate which may encumber the owner’s right to the “peaceful enjoyment” of the property or which may cause the owner to lose any portion of the property.

7. The contract I signed makes the sale subject to title to the property’s being good. Doesn't that protect me?

If anything should happen to defeat the Florida title, your cause of action would be against the seller, and his ability to pay. Attorney’s fees and expenses would not be covered.

8. The real estate broker said the title is good. Isn't that good enough?

No one can be sure the title is clean. That's why you need a title company as well as title insurance.

9. What happens if my home is protected by title insurance and the title is challenged?

Simply notify the title insurance company and they will defend the title, even if it goes to court. The title company also bears all expenses.

10. How much does Title Insurance cost?

The one-time premium is directly related to the value of your home. Typically, it is less expensive than your annual auto insurance. It is a one-time only expense, paid when you purchase your home. Yet it continues to provide complete coverage for as long as you, or your heirs, own the property.

11. Should I shop around for the best Florida Title Insurance deal?

Florida regulates the rates on the premiums for Florida title insurance. The only costs that may differ would be the actual fees, such as search and examination, closing costs and miscellaneous fees such as wire transfers, FedEx or courier fees and endorsements.

12. Can Assure America Title Company handle my closing?

Yes. We are a clearinghouse for all parties involved. We collect all the necessary documentation – assuring adherence to the lender’s title instructions, making arrangements for payment and distribution of funds. Assure America Title Insurance is geared up to work with you from the start of your transaction all the way through to conclusion.

13. Who pays for which expenses at closing?

Closing costs are customarily, but not always, divided between the buyer and seller, as follows*:

The Buyer pays:

  • Recording Fees
  • State Documentary Stamp Tax – $0.35 per $100.00 or fraction thereof based on the amount of the mortgage.
  • Intangible Tax – 2 mils per dollar of exact mortgage amount (approximately $0.20/hundred).
  • Survey – $225.00 - $600
  • Lender’s Title Insurance Policy – Is issued simultaneously with Owner’s Policy in most cases.
  • Refinances – Variable, depending on production of Prior Owner’s Title Insurance Policy.
  • Endorsements to Lender’s Policy – If required by Lender, $35.00 and up, depending on type of endorsement.
  • Express Mail - If applicable, charged to the appropriate party (included in closing fee)

The Seller pays:

  • State Documentary Stamp Tax for Deed of Conveyance – $0.70 per $100.00 or fraction thereof.
  • Owner’s Title Insurance Policy – Based on the sales price and contract (not always applicable)
  • Taxes – Current year’s real estate taxes are prorated as closing.
  • Title Search, Exam – Approximately $200.00.
  • Closing Fee

14.What items are needed at closing?

You will want to have the following items complete or in hand when you come to the closing (please confirm with your escrow officer prior to closing):

Buyer

  • Buyer’s copy of purchase agreement.
  • Cashier’s check for amount needed to close. We will let you know what that amount is.
  • Proof of purchase of insurance for fire, casualty, etc.
  • Photo identification (passport, driver’s license or state-issued identification card).

Seller

  • Seller’s copy of purchase agreement.
  • Any unrecorded instruments that affect the title.
  • Proof of satisfaction of any mechanics’ liens, chattel mortgages, judgments or mortgages that were paid prior to the closing.
  • Photo identification (passport, driver’s license or state-issued identification card).