Frequently Asked Questions

What is a title?

When you purchase a home, you are really purchasing the title to the property – which is the right to occupy and use the space. That title may be contested based upon past rights and claims asserted by others. These types of claims can infringe upon your purchase of the property or cause you to lose money.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects the homeowner or lender against future loss should the title condition be any different than when the policy was written.

Why do you need title insurance?

A home is usually the largest single investment any of us will ever make. Title insurance protects against loss of value from hazards and defects that may exist in the title. These hazards include fraud, forged signatures on deeds, unknown property heirs, liens, and documentation errors. If you are uninsured and your right to title is challenged, you could lose significant money defending yourself or you could lose your home. Your mortgage lender will require a loan policy of title insurance to protect their interest in the value of your property and a homeowner should purchase an owner’s policy for the very same reason.

How does title insurance differ from other types of insurance?

Most insurance policies protect against losses arising out of possible future events. The primary purpose of title insurance is to prevent losses from defects in title arising out of past events.

Is a homeowner required to have title insurance?

Yes and no. While the lender will likely require a loan policy of title insurance, the purchaser can choose what type of owner’s protection, if any, to use with regard to their title. However, without an owner’s policy, the homeowner will not be protected against hidden hazards or reimbursed for legal expenses for defense or claims that affect the value of the property.

How does title insurance protect against hazards?

An owner’s policy of title insurance – typically purchased at the time of purchase of the property – requires the insurance provider to pay for defending against any lawsuit attacking your title as insured, and will either clear up title problems or pay your losses. For a one-time premium generally paid at closing, an owner’s title insurance policy remains in effect as long as you, or your heirs, retain an interest in the property.

Why does your lender require title insurance during refinancing?

From the lender’s standpoint, a refinanced mortgage is actually a brand new mortgage – complete with the same risks that may have been present originally. During the refinance process, your original mortgage is paid off – and your existing lender’s title insurance policy is rendered null and void. However, if you purchased an owner’s policy of title insurance at your original closing that policy will remain in effect as long as you or your heirs own the property.

How much does title insurance cost?

Probably less than you think. Charges vary in different sections of the country, but generally the cost of title insurance (including the search, examination and related services) amounts to about one percent, or less, of the cost of the property. And unlike other insurance premiums, which must be paid annually, a title insurance premium is paid one time only, usually at settlement.

How long does title insurance coverage last?

The lender’s policy of title insurance lasts until the mortgage is paid in full. The owner’s policy of title insurance lasts for as long as the homeowner or his or her heirs retain an interest in the property. Unlike other types of insurance, a title policy never goes out of effect. Even though the insured sells the property and goes out of title, the policy insuring him still is in effect via the deed with which he conveys the property.

What is a title search?

A title search is a detailed examination of a property’s historical records, such as deeds, court records, and many other documents. The purpose of the search is to verify the seller’s right to transfer ownership, and to discover any claims, defects, and other rights or burdens on the property.

What kinds of problems can a title search reveal?

A title search can show title defects and liens, as well as other encumbrances and restrictions, including any unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments against the seller and restrictions limiting the use of the land.

What is a title defect or encumbrance?

A title defect occurs when information is missing from a title, such as the existence of a previous owner’s undisclosed heir who could then make a claim on the land. An encumbrance is a claim made upon the land by a party other than the landowner. For instance, a local utility company may have an easement for utilities run to a house. When a potential homeowner is borrowing money, the lender will require the title to be cleared of any outstanding defects or encumbrances before the land is transferred and the loan approved.

What should I bring to closing?

1. A driver's license and one additional form of identification. Acceptable forms of identification include:

  1. Social Security card
  2. Passport
  3. Birth certificate
  4. Military identification
2. A cashier's check for any required funds made out to Refinance Title, unless otherwise instructed.  Alternatively, you may wire funds directly to our escrow account.  Contact us for further details if you wish to utilize this method of payment.

3. Any additional information or documentation that your lender, real estate agent or we have asked you to provide.

Where is your office?

Our office is located at 202 South 11th Street, Nashville, TN 37206. We are in 5 Points, in the heart of East Nashville, just across the river from downtown.

Take Exit 49 toward Shelby Avenue and Titans Stadium.  Turn right on Shelby
Avenue traveling away from downtown and proceed for 1.0 miles.  Turn left
on South 11th Street and proceed for .2 miles.  We are in the red brick
house on your left.

Take Woodland Street across the Woodland Street Bridge.  Continue on
Woodland Street for 1.2 miles.  Turn right on South 11th Street and
proceed for .1 miles.


Take Korean Veterans Boulevard across the Shelby Street Bridge.
Continue for 1.1 miles as Korean Veterans Boulevard becomes Shelby
Avenue.  Turn left on South 11th Street and proceed for .2 miles.

How long will my closing take?

Although every transaction is different, in our experience the closing ceremony typically lasts around thirty minutes for a seller and around an hour for a buyer or an owner who is refinancing.