What is title? What is a title search? The answers to all the most frequently asked title and escrow questions can be found below to help provide piece of mind during one of life’s biggest purchases.

Title & Clearance

Title is your right to own or use your property. Title also establishes any limitations on those rights.

A title search is a review of public records surrounding a property used to uncover issues that could limit your rights to ownership. If a title issue is discovered, most often your title agent will resolve it without your involvement, but sometimes may reach out for more documentation. After the title search is complete, the title company can provide a title insurance policy.

If you’re buying a home, title insurance is a policy that protects your investment and property rights. There are two different types of title insurance: an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy. Please read our “What is Title Insurance?” article in our Knowledge Center for additional detail.

For a full breakdown of expected closing costs, please use our Rate Calculator for initial estimate of costs.

Your title insurance policy lasts for as long as you own your property.

If you are an employee of a Guaranteed Rate company, our preferred method for receiving an order is always through our Encompass integration. If this is not applicable, you can place an order either directly through our website on the Order Title page or send an email request to [email protected] and include as many of the details related to the transaction as possible.

Necessary information includes: transaction type, buyer/borrower’s full names and contact information, seller full names and contact information, full property address, loan amount, lender name and contact information, purchase price, and any other parties to the transaction like attorneys or real estate agents.

You can submit your tract search order directly through our website on the Order Title page.  If you have any tract search related questions, please email [email protected].

A Closing Protection Letter (CPL), also known as a Closing Service Letter, is an indemnity given to a lender from a title insurance company, agreeing to be responsible if the closing agent does not follow the lender’s instructions or misappropriates the loan proceeds.

Unfortunately, no. The failure of a credit report to show a lien does not mean that the lien no longer affects the property in question. A release/discharge of mortgage, or a copy of a subsequently issued title insurance policy is required in order for the lien to be removed.

If an old lien is paid off, but the lender or the owner fails to record a release of said lien, it will still be reflected on a title report. The Illinois statute of limitations on a mortgage lien is either 30 or 50 years depending on the circumstances, so an “old mortgage” that is 15 years old is not really old at all (most states have similar statutes and time frames). In order to remove liens from prior owners, we will need a HUD or Owner’s Policy from the purchase to review. In order to remove liens from the current owner, we will need a HUD or Loan Policy or other substantial evidence.

Closing & Settlement

Escrow is the process in which the funds of a transaction, like the sale or refinance of a house, are held by a third party.

Closing is the final step in executing the homebuying transaction. It is the process that allows the transfer of ownership to occur. Upon completion of the closing process, you get the keys to your home!

For the fastest closing confirmation possible, please use our online form to request your closing. You can also email [email protected] with any schedule related questions.

Personal check limits for most states are $5,000.00, but vary. Please ask our closing department for confirmation before writing a personal check. For non-investment property we can accept Certified or Cashier’s checks up to $49,999.99. For investment properties, all funds must be wired if we are sending out the payoff on the same day. All amounts over $50,000.00 must be wired.

Of course not! In today’s digital era, we have many options for our borrowers to close their loans in the most convenient way possible for their lifestyle. First and foremost, we can close eligible transactions digitally through our e-Close platform, allowing borrowers to close whenever and wherever they prefer. Secondly, we can send a mobile notary to their home, office, local coffee shop or any other reasonable location at no additional charge. Lastly, if a borrower chooses, they are always welcome to come close their loan in our Chicago office located conveniently in River North.

Loan documents can be emailed to [email protected].

Can’t find an answer?

Call 312.509.4200 or submit an inquiry to [email protected]