Title Insurance protects an owner's or a lender's financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters. It will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title as it is insured, or reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy. There are two types of title insurance policies. Your mortgage lender will require a “Lender’s Title Insurance Policy” which provides coverage for the lender up to the amount of the loan. When buying property you will also be offered an opportunity to purchase an “Owner’s Title Insurance Policy” for the purchase price of your property. The insurance coverage that you are receiving is protection against a host of potential unknown title defects that can go undetected even with the most thorough title examination. Some examples of such defects are:


  • Mistakes in the recording of legal documents
  • Forged deeds, releases or wills
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Incorrect representation of marital status
  • Deeds executed by minors or persons of unsound mind
  • Deeds from non-existent entities
  • Deeds executed under invalid or expired power of attorney
  • Incorrect legal descriptions of property
  • Federal condemnation without notice filing
  • Errors in tax records
  • Discover of later will after probate of first will
  • Fraud

With these and other defects it is possible that someone other than the owner has a legal right to the property. Title insurance protects your property investment against such claims. Unlike other types of insurance that protect you and your interests against future events, title insurance provides protection for past events—title defects that existed prior to the date of the policy. The cost, based on the purchase price of the property, is paid as a one-time premium collected at closing and provides coverage for as long as you or your heirs own the property. Title Insurance is the most effective, most accepted, and least expensive way to protect your ownership rights. For more information on title insurance, please visit the link to “Why You Need Title Insurance” on the American Land Title Association’s website: http://www.homeclosing101.org/whyneed.cfm or “Title Insurance Primer” on the Old Republic National Title Insurance Company website: http://www.oldrepublictitle.com/newnational/Resources/Primer/whatistitle.asp. Old Republic is the title insurance underwriter for Gateway Title Services, LLC.

This discount is usually referred to as “reissue credit.” If Gateway Title Services is writing title insurance for a mortgage refinance where the lender requires title insurance, a discount can often be given on the lender’s title insurance policy premium if the borrower can provide Gateway Title with a copy of his/her owner’s title insurance policy, assuming an owner’s policy was purchased when the borrower bought the property. If Gateway Title handled your purchase closing and issued your owner’s title policy, we will already have a copy on file.

No — if you prefer that a different title company or attorney conduct your closing, you do have a right to choose. RESPA Section 9 prohibits, either directly or indirectly, a seller from requiring a purchaser to buy title insurance from a specific title company in any transaction as a condition of the sale. It is also permissible for the buyer and seller to use two different title companies (known as a “split closing”).

Only under circumstances where you cannot attend the closing can the closing be handled through the mail and if you are the buyer (or this is a refinance closing), only with the permission of your lender. An alternative if you cannot attend your closing is to execute a specific Power of Attorney authorizing a family member or other representative to attend the closing and sign the documents on your behalf. This document must be prepared by our attorney and signed in advance of the closing. The signed /notarized Power of Attorney must be approved by the lender in advance and the original provided to the settlement agent at or prior to closing. If you or your spouse might not be able to attend your closing, please let your Closing Specialist know well in advance of the scheduled closing date.

Buyers should bring a government issued photo ID, funds required in the form of a cashier’s check (unless sent by bank wire), buyer’s copy of the purchase contract, and any additional documentation that the lender asked you to provide and bring to closing.

Sellers should bring a government issued photo ID, funds required if any in the form of a cashier’s check, house keys and garage openers, seller’s copy of the purchase contract, your forwarding address and phone number.

Since we must wait until we receive closing instructions from your lender containing the final loan amount, loan fees, and escrow reserves required, it is usually 24 hours or less in advance of the closing before we will have a firm and final balance needed at closing. We will communicate that amount to you or your realtor as soon as it is available, but that in some cases could be as late as a few hours prior to the closing. Unfortunately Gateway Title Services cannot accept a personal check for funds required from the buyer (or seller) at closing. Any funds must be in the form of a cashier’s check or transmitted to our Escrow Account by bank wire prior to the closing.

The HUD-1 is the form used to itemize all charges imposed upon a borrower and seller for a real estate transaction and gives each party a complete accounting of their incoming and outgoing funds. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires the form be used as the standard real estate settlement form in all transactions in the United States which involve federally related mortgage loans. It is, however, used for nearly all transactions that involve a buyer and seller, including cash closings.

We suggest that you allow at least 30 minutes for a refinance closing and one hour for a purchase closing.

Most definitely. Contact our office and provide us with a copy of the sales contract. We will walk you through every step of the process from there.