A “title” is a document that states the legal owner of a property. In the process of issuing this documentation, a title company will perform a title search to review public records and determine if there are any outstanding claims or issues related to the property in question. This search can reveal anything from forged documents, lien claims from unpaid bills, and undisclosed easements to ownership claims made by others if the seller is not the rightful owner of the property or mistakes from the previous title agency. In some cases, title search issues are easy to resolve—you can request that your loan team share the title report with third parties such as your attorney or real estate agent in order to remove paid liens or judgments that are impacting title clearance. In other cases, title issues may impact your decision to go through with the transaction.
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