Frequently Asked Questions

What is title insurance?

Title Insurance, like any other insurance, protects the buyer of real estate against risk.  The title policy protects against the risk that someone has a past claim on the property.  That someone could be the State, the Federal government, heirs of an estate, an individual who previously owned the property, a municipality, or bank to name a few examples.

Why do I need it?

If you are purchasing real estate and taking out a loan from a bank to purchase, as most people do, the bank will require you to obtain a Lender’s title insurance to protect their loan and interest in the property against any potential past claims.  Your attorney will most likely also strongly recommend you obtain for yourself an Owner’s title insurance policy to protect you personally. In a refinance, the Lender will require you to purchase a Lender’s Policy to protect the Lender even if you already bought one when you purchased the property. Title insurance is a means of protecting the Lender and yourself from financial loss in the event that problems develop regarding the rights to ownership of your property. There may be hidden title defects that even the most careful title search will not reveal. In addition to protection from financial loss, title insurance pays the cost of defending against any covered claim.

If my Lender is obtaining a policy, why do I need an Owner’s Policy?

There are two types of Title Insurance. Your lender likely will require that you purchase a Lender’s Policy. This policy only insures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. Most lenders require this type of insurance and typically require the borrower to pay for it.

An Owner’s Policy on the other hand is designed to protect you from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. Title troubles, such as improper estate proceedings or pending legal action, could put your equity at serious risk. If a valid claim is filed, in addition to financial loss up to the face amount of the policy, your owner’s title policy covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

What does it cost?

Title insurance in the State of New Jersey is a regulated industry. The State sets the rate based on the purchase price of the property. If title insurance is being purchased in connection with a refinance the rate is based on a calculation between the new loan amount and the loan being paid off. For a quote specific to your transaction request a quote from us by clicking here: Request a Quote

Do I need an attorney in New Jersey when I’m purchasing real estate?

While there is no legal requirement that you retain a lawyer, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Your lawyer is of tremendous assistance. He or she will review the contract, guide you through the Attorney Review period, obtain disclosures from the seller, advise you during the home inspection phase and answer many legal questions. Contact our staff if you need a recommendation for a knowledgeable, experienced real estate attorney.

Besides searching the public records and obtaining the title insurance policy, what else does a title insurance agency do?

Able Title Agency is a full-service title insurance and Closing Service provider. Once your attorney has completed the Attorney Review and the Home Inspection is finished, your attorney will contact a title insurance agency to search the public records for any title insurance defects. The title insurance agency will then prepare a report for you Lender and provide a commitment to obtain Lender’s and Owner’s title insurance policies for the closing. If the title agency provides Closing Services, it will coordinate with you Lender to prepare the mortgage documents; it will interface with the Lender in preparing the financial disclosure document (a Closing Disclosure Statement that has specifies all costs associated with the closing); it will receive the loan funds from your Lender and assist your attorney with executing the documents; the title agency will disburse funds to the seller, realtors and any other parties listed on the Closing Disclosure and then record the Deed and Mortgage with the County Clerk’s office.