Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Abstract?
An abstract of title is a condensed history of all transactions shown in the public records affecting a particular piece of land. An Attorney reviews the abstract to determine ownership and whether there are any title defects which must be cleared before a buyer can purchase the property.
The purpose of an abstract is to give the examiner the condition of title to the property as it appears of record. The statute of North Dakota requires title evidence.
What is Title Insurance and why do I need it?
Title Insurance is a contract that protects an owner and/or lender against losses arising through defects or hidden risks in the title to real estate. Some of those defects or hidden risks include: forged deeds, releases or wills; fraud, homestead rights, mistakes in recording legal documents, liens for unpaid bills, falsification of records, existing covenants limiting the use of the land, judgment liens, deeds by minors, undisclosed or missing heirs, deeds by persons of unsound mind, birth or adoption of children after date of will, deeds delivered after death of grantor or grantee, defective foreclosures of mortgages, and errors in copying and indexing.
The title insurance company agrees to provide for loss if the validity, priority or enforceability of the lien as insured is challenged up to the face amount of the policy, and pays any and all legal costs incurred defending your rights against this claim.
What is the Difference Between a Lender's and an Owner's Policy?
A lender's title insurance policy covers the Lender's interest in the property for the outstanding balance of the loan borrowed on the property. The amount of a Lender's policy decreases and will eventually disappear as the mortgage is paid off. A Lender's policy will not protect an Owner's interest if a covered defect is found in the title.
An Owner's title insurance policy protects the Owner's interest in the property from claims or losses due to hidden risks. The Owner's policy helps give the buyer peace of mind and protection in case a claim should arise for as long as the owner, or heirs of the owner have an interest in the property.
What is a real estate closing?
A real estate closing is the final step in the process of transferring ownership of real estate property from the seller to the buyer.