Title Insurance and Title Insurance Litigation in South Carolina
What is title insurance and why do I need to get it?
Title insurance is purchased to protect the insured against claims that may affect the title to real property. If you are obtaining a loan to purchase or refinance real property, your lender will most likely require the issuance of a loan policy. The lender’s loan policy provides title insurance protection to the lender (up to the amount of the policy limit, which is usually the loan amount).
You, as the owner, also have the right to purchase an owner’s policy, simultaneously with the lender’s loan policy, to specifically insure you up to the amount of the policy limit, which is usually the purchase price. An owner’s policy protects you against title defects or issues which are not specified as exceptions under the language of the policy. A title defect can be any legal right held by someone other than the owner who claims an ownership interest, lien, or other right or interest in the property, or who makes demands on the owner of that property. Title insurance offers protection for unrecorded claims of ownership or lien rights not disclosed by a title examination.
You and the lender will have the opportunity to purchase title insurance at the time of the closing of your purchase, mortgage loan, or refinance transaction.
How will I be protected by an owner’s policy?
An owner’s policy protects you against hidden risks such as:
- Fraud — Typically includes false claims of ownership; forged deeds, wills, signatures, conveyances, instruments, false representations, and false records of all sorts; and illegal acts of trustees, guardians, administrators, and others.
- Human Error — Errors in copying, indexing, and recording; errors by administrators, executors, trustees, guardians, and others; and destruction of records.
- Improper Deeds and Wills — Deeds by persons of unsound mind or minors; deeds delivered after death or without the grantor’s consent; invalid, suppressed, or erroneous wills; missing heirs; unsettled estates; etc.
- Liens and Other Rights — Liens for unpaid estate, inheritance, income, property and gift taxes; homestead rights and community property rights; irregular court proceedings, court opinion reversals, lack of court jurisdiction; defective foreclosures; etc.
The attorneys at DesChamps Law Firm offer a unique title insurance perspective. As transactional attorneys, they are approved attorneys and issuing agents for one or more title companies and, therefore, are in a position to issue the title policies necessary and required in a closing. As litigation attorneys, they have prosecuted and defended title claims as well as coverage issues.