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Understanding Property Title Search

Mortgage transactions are discussed from various aspects; however, an often undiscussed segment is worth understanding and that segment is the property title search.

Mortgage lenders and banks run title searches of the real property to make certain that there are no mortgages already registered on the debtor’s property which might have higher priority

Here is how it works:

STEP 1 - Title work is ordered by the processing team after the mortgage application has been signed.

Large banks routinely own their own title companies but for the most part, loan officers select a hometown title office which has proven itself with a record of good service.

STEP 2 - The title office then goes to the county records to “search” the title and a commitment is issued.  The “commitment” shows who is “on” title and what encumberances are recorded. Typically there will be a lien holder (a bank or mortgage company) and often a 2nd lien holder, and sometimes a county or city will be encumbering for items such as past due taxes or some other bill which the homeowner may owe.

Sometimes the title will show that a deed has been recorded (on the title) such as when a husband or wife divorces and “quit claim deeds” themselves off the property.

STEP 3 - The new lender receives a copy of the “title comittment” and routinely makes the new mortgage conditional upon certain issues which are there on the title, i.e. 2nd mortgage must be paid from proceeds of new mortgage…etc.

STEP 4 - In most cases, the same company who issued the title committment will finalize the transaction.  As the mortgage application is approved, an appointment is calendered at the title office for a closing.

STEP 5 - The title office then distributes the monies to the appropriate parties and forwards the proper instruments including the HUD settlement statement to the county. 

STEP 6 - The County Registerer of Deeds then adds the new information to the title and the records become official (official county records).

By Jim Jump To Comments
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3 Responses to "Understanding Property Title Search"

    deborah lesner says:

    Selling Hud’s. I am confused. If a person buys a Hud with cash, is it not true that the government has already searched the property for liens. Do I have to get titile committment?


    Posted on 11/06 at 8:29 AM
    Jim Moore says:

    No, just close your eyes and hope that
    things workout.

    You’re actually saying you trust “the government”?

    Hope everything turns out ok.


    Posted on 11/06 at 9:47 AM
Toronto says:

Every city has a place where the public can go to search for information on property. Property records are maintained at either the county courthouse, county recorder, city hall or another city or county department. Many public offices are staffed by knowledgeable personnel ready to help you find property deeds and encumbrances.You can check federal court records to find out if a seller has filed for bankruptcy or go through county court records to see if a seller is involved in litigation.However, there are easier ways to find information.Once you find the owner of record, if you don’t have an address or the person has moved, you can order reports online to find that missing person. These companies charge a fee. You can also search at your public library.


Posted on 01/17 at 4:44 AM

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