A title commitment relates to title insurance. Title insurance protects the property buyers from most title issues, such as judgments, third-party claims, prior liens, fraud, and defective recordings. Such issues with the “chain of title” (i.e., the record of previous owners of the property) or “clouds” on title could be fatal to the sale because someone can only sell what they own.
The title commitment is a conditional promise from the title company to issue a title insurance policy after closing. In other words, the title commitment lists any requirements that must be completed before the title company will issue the title insurance policy.
Prior to the closing of a real estate transaction, buyers will receive a copy of the title commitment. It is critical that the buyer thoroughly review title commitment and correct any errors. If the title commitment is inaccurate, the policy may not provide coverage where it ordinarily would. Similarly, if the requirements in the title commitment are not completed, then the title insurance company may not issue the policy.
Here are some of the most important parts of the title commitment:
Schedule A covers the general information about the title insurance pledge, such as the policy coverage amount, the legal name of the current title owner, the description of the property, and the effective date.
Schedule B-I usually lists the requirements (or conditions) that must be addressed for the title insurance policy to issue. The requirements can include:
- Payment of taxes
- Payment of liens (or recording a release)
- Recording of certain documents such as new deed, lien satisfaction, recording of power of
- Copy of ownership documents (trust or business documents)
Schedule B-II also lists any “exceptions” to the title insurance policy. Exceptions are those matters which are excluded from coverage. These exceptions include many standard exceptions, such as mechanic’s liens and claims by a current tenant per a valid, unexpired lease, but can also include mineral rights, water rights, plot restrictions, and various easements.
Real estate transactions can be fraught with legal pitfalls and issues. At Burnham Law, our real estate attorneys have assisted clients in all phases of property transactions and disputes. We have assembled a team of lawyers and professionals who will see your transaction from start to finish, providing you with the legal assurances to accomplish your real estate goals.