As your settlement company, we will order a title examination and, if required, a survey on your property. Those reports will be used to issue title insurance as required by your lender. We will supply information required by your lender to prepare your loan documents. At settlement, we will review the loan documentation with you and take all action necessary to ensure the transfer of proper title in your name.
Types of Information
Depending on which of Walker Title’s services you are utilizing, the types of nonpublic personal information that we may collect include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Information we receive from you on applications, forms and/or in other communications to us, whether in writing, in person, by telephone or any other means;
- Information about your transactions with or involving us, our affiliated companies, or others; and
- Information we receive regarding you and a consumer reporting agency or as a result of an abstract/search of liens, judgments or other records or inquiries.
- The type of information varies but may include account balances, marital status, names of creditors, status of payments (including but not limited to status of mechanics, contractors, and subcontractors providing services to real property) credit reports, verification of insurance on real estate, payoff information and the like.
Use of Information
We request information from you or about you for our business purposes which typically involve the issuance of a title insurance commitment or policy and/or the conducting of a residential real estate settlement for you or your lender. On occasions we perform services to or as part of a joint venture or limited liability company (herein called “affiliated parties”) and a request for information in such circumstances is for similar purpose as previously stated. We do not request information from you for non-legitimate business purposes or for the benefit of any nonaffiliated parties. Accordingly, it is Walker Title’s policy not to release your personal information to nonaffiliated parties except: (1) as necessary for us to provide the product or service you have requested of us; or (2) as permitted by law.
From time to time Walker Title is served a subpoena requesting the production of closing records or other personal consumer information which may include nonpublic personal information obtained from our customer(s). It is our policy in such instances to provide notice of the pendancy of such a subpoena to the person(s) involved to afford such person(s) the opportunity to contest the validity and/or scope of such subpoena and/or seek judicial intervention to limit or quash same. We can not always provide advance notice, however, but endeavor to do so and in this regard rely on address information on record with us for this purpose. Following service of a subpoena on us, it is Walker Title’s policy to comply with a subpoena unless otherwise directed by applicable court order.
We may store your consumer personal information in our files for a considerable period of time, including, a period of time after which any customer relationship between you and Walker Title has ceased. Such information may be used for any internal purpose, such as quality control efforts or customer analysis or in processing a claim under a title insurance policy. We do not share or use personally identifiable health information for marketing purposes. We do not sell nonpublic personal information about our customers to third parties.
Protection of Nonpublic Personal Information
Walker Title restricts access to nonpublic personal information to those employees, agents, representatives or third parties who need to know the information to provide products and services to our customers. This would include, but not be limited to, providing copies of HUD1 settlement statements to the real estate brokers/agents, lenders homeowners associations, etc. involved in your closing transaction.
Walker Title has policies and procedures that give direction to our employees and agents and representatives acting on our behalf, regarding how to protect and use nonpublic information.
Walker Title maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect nonpublic personal information.
Applies to Agents and Representative
Change in Policy
Walker Title reserves the right to change any of its privacy policies and related procedures at any time, in accordance with applicable federal and state laws including any notice requirements the then appertaining.
THIS PRIVACY NOTICE IS PROVIDED TO YOU FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CALL OR TAKE ANY ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS NOTICE. WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU READ AND RETAIN THIS NOTICE WITH YOUR PERSONAL FILES RELATED TO WALKER TITLE.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS INTENDED ONLY TO GIVE A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE THREE COMMON WAYS OF HOLDING TITLE AND IS NOT PROVIDED FOR THE PURPOSE OF ADVISING YOU HOW TO TAKE TITLE. IF FURTHER INFORMATION IS DESIRED ABOUT CREDITORS RIGHTS AGAINST THE TITLE, ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES WITH RESPECT TO ESTATE PLANNING AND OTHER PRACTICALITIES, YOU SHOULD SEEK LEGAL COUNSEL FROM YOUR ATTORNEY OR RETAIN AN ATTORNEY FOR ADVICE IN THESE MATTERS.
In order to properly prepare the mortgage documents we require information from you as to how you intend to take title to the real estate.
The three most common ways two or more persons may hold title to real estate are: TENANTS IN COMMON, JOINT TENANTS or as TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY (tenants by the entirety is only available for married couples)
What Happens Upon Death
1. When title is held as Tenants in Common, it is necessary to probate the estate of the deceased before the real estate may be sold or mortgaged. There is no right of survivorship and so the deceased persons interest in the property passes to his or her heirs and not to the other owner(s).
2. When the title is held a Joint Tenants or as Tenants by the Entirety, the title automatically passes to the surviving owner(s) without the necessity to probate the estate of the deceased.
3. In any case of death of an owner of real estate, whether Tenants in Common, Joint Tenants or Tenants by the Entirety, it may be necessary to procure a release of the estate tax or taxes which may, by statute, become a lien on the property.
Real estate title insurance very simply is an insured statement of the conditions of one’s title or ownership rights to a certain piece of real estate. The policy guarantees that the property being purchased or mortgaged is free from undisclosed liens or rights and it guarantees additionally that any confusion as to rights of ownership will be resolved in favor of the party owning the real estate or the title insurance company will be liable for loss in value to the policyholder up to the policy limits.
A buyer purchasing real estate is offered the opportunity to purchase an owner’s policy of title insurance by the settlement agent, attorney, escrow company or title agent conducting the real estate closing. For example, you decide to purchase a house in Boston and are obtaining a mortgage to help you finance the purchase from a bank or mortgage company. That institution will require an examination of the title to the property and have the party reviewing the title issue to them a lender’s policy of title insurance insuring that the property is or will be owned by the purchaser and that there are no defects, liens or encumbrances on the property which would adversely affect the marketability of its mortgage.
Since the settlement agent, attorney, escrow agent or title agent is already issuing a lender’s policy of title insurance the buyer has the opportunity at that time to obtain an owner’s policy of title insurance at a cost substantially less than the buyer would pay if the policy was not written simultaneously with the lender’s policy.
The owner’s policy of title insurance insures that the owner has good marketable title to the property free of any encumbrances or liens that would adversely affect the property, except those made known to the buyer, and insures to the owner that if any such liens, encumbrances, defects or other title problems become known the title insurer will defend the buyer’s title to the property.
In many instances we are asked whether or not title insurance is necessary or advisable for the owner to purchase. We recommend the purchase of the title insurance for some very simple reasons. First, the premium for purchase of the title insurance policy is a one time charge. Since the purchaser is usually borrowing money to finance the purchase, the majority of the cost of the title insurance policy that the owner would receive has been paid through the premiums for the lender’s policy which is required by the loan. Usually for a few hundred dollars or less the owner can insure against a variety of problems which could occur in the future. These items include forged documents in the chain of title, signatures of mentally incompetent persons or minors which are unknown to the party reviewing the title, mistakes or inaccuracies in recording of legal documents of title at the appropriate place or recording or registration of title, fraud in the execution or in the handling of the recording or indexing of recorded documents, undisclosed or missing heirs, fraud in the execution or in the handling of a transaction in the prior chain of title, invalid divorces or misrepresentation of marital status of the parties signing the documents, and most importantly clerical errors in the public records and claims of parties unknown because their claims have not been filed in any indices of public record. The enhanced policies such as First American’s Eagle Policy go well beyond this simple coverage and provide coverage for a host of issues that can affect property both prior to and after you purchase it.
Even though the buyer may be asked to pay for the lender’s title insurance protection, the lender’s policy of title insurance does not protect the buyer and a claim can only be made if the lender suffers a financial loss because of a title defect that adversely affects a foreclosure of the buyer’s mortgage. There have been many of defects in titles which could not be revealed by an examination of the public records. These defects usually arise at a time after the transaction has taken place and purchasers can suffer significant losses as a result of them. That is why owner’s title insurance makes a great deal of sense.