through David B. Shulman, Esquire, provides title insurance from First
American Title Insurance Company. Attorney Shulman is an
authorized title insurance agent for First American Title Insurance
Company. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, title insurance
costs are regulated by the state. By having an attorney
the real estate settlement and the issuance of the title insurance, you
have a professional overseeing your transaction as well as protection
of title insurance from a national title insurance company.
Buying or selling a home or other
property can be a
complicated, confusing, and cumbersome process. Real estate
transactions are major investments, perhaps the biggest in your life,
but there can also be dangerous risks involved without the right
One such protection is Title
Before you enter into a real estate transaction, make sure you speak
with an experienced real estate attorney so that you understand what
Title Insurance is, how it works, how it affects you, and why, with the
help of our attorneys, it can greatly reduce your risks and make the
whole process an easier and more enjoyable one. In the
we hope the questions and answers below will help to give you a basic
understanding of Title Insurance.
What is Title
There are numerous requirements that
must be met
before any real estate transaction can take place. One such
requirement is “marketable title,” which means
ownership and the ability to convey the property.
The purpose of title
insurance is to secure your legal claim to the property and to protect
you against title "defects"— claims to the legal rights of
property by others that would not give marketable title.
Unfortunately, hidden defects can arise even after you've gone through
closing. With title insurance, the title insurer not only
the costs if you're ever forced to defend your ownership in court, but
also covers any financial loss if the title defects can't be settled.
If you’re getting a mortgage, you'll almost certainly have
buy a lender's title insurance policy. This protects the lender against
any title problems. To protect your interests, though, you'll
need owner's title insurance of your own.
insurance is like homeowners insurance right? Isn't all
insurance basically the same?
No. Most people are familiar
with one kind of
insurance - casualty insurance - and assume that all insurance works
the same way. It doesn't, and this misunderstanding can cause
To the extent that buying insurance
from the costs of unforeseen events and losses, yes, insurance is
insurance. You buy homeowner's insurance in case a burglar breaks into
your house, auto insurance to cover repairs after an accident, and life
insurance to pay for your child's education if you are not there. These
are all varieties of casualty insurance. Land title insurance
protects you, too, but it covers a different kind of loss, and its
one-time premium pays for much more than simple risk protection. In
short, not all insurance is the same.
title insurance cover?
Land title insurance protects you from
may have happened in the past, not events that are likely to occur in
the future. Some common losses covered by title insurance
records misplaced in courthouses, boundary disputes, unpaid taxes, and
hidden defects in the title like missing heirs, forgery, fraud, and
other items which do not show up in even the most exhaustive title
Am I protected?
Even the most intensive search cannot
claims. Suppose there are back taxes owed on a property. Your
title insurance provider goes into the local courthouse, reviews the
tax files, and finds no evidence of these back taxes because a file is
missing. The title insurance provider then insures the
and a defect to marketable title later arises due to the tax claim.
They pay the claim.
Without title insurance, the owner must
like these. Liens, unpaid taxes, and sewer and water are assessments
that are attached to the property - not to the person incurring the
delinquency. Thus, if a previous owner had a judgment against
property, the new owner is responsible for payment. Title insurance
insures against these circumstances.
Do I need Title
In virtually every real estate
transaction, from a
condo unit to a commercial property, you certainly should have title
insurance to protect your investment, and most lenders require it.
Home buyers obtain title insurance to
that the seller has the right to sell their property. When a seller
delivers "marketable title" on a property, it means there are no liens
or legal judgments against the seller. If the property title
includes liens or judgments against the seller, then those liens or
judgments would become the responsibility of the buyer if the seller
did not resolve the liens before passing the title over to the buyer.
The wise buyer will make sure to purchase only clear title and avoid
taking on financial responsibilities of the seller. Likewise, the wise
seller will make sure to have clear title before selling property, to
avoid discouraging potential buyers.
should I get Title Insurance from an Attorney?
First, whether your real estate
questions and legal
needs involve your home or your business, you have made a large
investment of time, money and commitment. An experienced real estate
lawyer can ensure that your real estate assets are fully protected,
your transactions are legally sound, and that your property and titles
are properly secured.
Second, many companies sell title
insurance. But a
lay title agency only
prepares documents for closing and issues your title insurance policy.
A lay title agency cannot give you legal advice regarding the content
of documents you sign during closing.
clients receive the benefit of a lawyer's knowledge and experience
a title insurance agent's rates.
If you want to protect your ownership
person trained in the complexities of real estate law is best qualified
to issue your owner's title insurance policy. That person is your real
estate attorney. Since the fee for title insurance will be
same with or without a real estate attorney, it just makes sense to get
the added value of an attorney's legal advice and counsel.
type of transactions do you deal with?
We write title insurance policies for
the full range of properties, including:
• Duplexes, twins, multiplexes,
multiple-family residential dwellings
• Apartment complexes
• Mobile Homes
• New housing developments
• For Sale by Owner
Our law firm offers expert handling of
commercial transactions to the most complicated multi-property /
multi-state transactions, providing personalized and individualized
service for every client and every situation, including:
Residential and commercial transactions
• Disclosure statements and
• Contractor and construction
• Title questions, including
adding and removing owners
• Condo conversions
• Boundary line disputes
• Business and residential leases
• Mortgage law and deeds and
• Contract review
• Real estate sales, including
contracts involving property contained in buildings
What do I
get when I buy Title Insurance?
After the buyer retains a title
it then prepares an abstract of title. The provider finds the
original deed to the property and researches associated records to find
out whether the title is marketable. A search is performed for the
subject property and a title insurance commitment is developed which
identifies those items found in the real estate records that describe
the property, who owns the property, as well as any requirements that
must be met in order to issue a title insurance policy, such as
unresolved liens or judgments.
How much will it
Title insurance rates are regulated by
Pennsylvania Insurance Department. This means that the price
pay for title insurance is going to be the same no matter who you
acquire it from, even if your agent is an attorney. For this
reason, it makes even more sense to obtain title insurance through an
attorney, since it does not cost anything extra, plus you have the
added protection of an experienced attorney overseeing your policy.
Call us to get a personalized quote
We provide experienced service,
for our legal services, and the knowledge that your real estate
transaction will proceed smoothly.
We can assist clients in the full
process of buying
a home: negotiation or review of the purchase agreement, arranging
inspections, reviewing seller disclosures, providing title insurance,
and representing you at the closing. If a seller has
misrepresented the condition of property, we can work to recover
damages. We can also handle complex transactions, such as the purchase
of equipment, the leasing of a building, or the arranging of an equity
loan to pay a judgment with accompanying second or third mortgages and
Our real estate attorneys have been
estate buyers and sellers in the greater Lehigh Valley for over 35
years. Contact us
today to receive the full benefit of our combined experience of over 75