A title search includes the chain of title, a tax search and a judgment search. The chain of title is the history of ownership of a piece of property. It provides information regarding buyers, sellers and when transactions happened. A tax search determines the current status of real estate taxes relating to the property. A judgment search determines if there are any unpaid judgments against the seller or previous owner.
Once the searches have been completed, the title commitment is prepared. The commitment identifies any defects to title that may have been found during the search. These defects will need to be cleared up before or at the time of closing. As long as identified defects are cleared up, the title insurance policy will be issued protecting the buyer’s and/or lender’s interest in the property, depending on the type of policy. See our blog post for more information about the types of title insurance policies.
O & E Report
Also known as a Letter Report. An O & E Report provides information regarding who is currently in title and the full legal description of the property. It will also show open mortgages and other encumbrances against the property and/or owner. An O & E Report does not provide information about easements or other restrictions.