Serving Tennessee and Kentucky | 865-690-5255
In short, the title process includes receiving your title order, completing your title search, reviewing your title search with our attorney, processing and preparing all required documents, and closing your loan.
The process begins when your sales contract opens your title order. Once your title order is processed and your title search is completed, verification of the legal owner is made, the debts owed against the property are also determined, and payoffs are requested for their satisfaction. We also review tax information, surveys, inspections, insurances, and any other legal documentation our abstractors find of record.
This is when tax information, surveys, inspections, insurances, and legal documentation are ordered and title commitments are reviewed and sent.
Once the loan has been cleared to close by the lender, charges are assembled, closing statements are prepared, and the closing is set.
After the loan is funded, any signed Warranty Deeds, Deeds of Trust, Mortgages, Power of Attorney’s, Name Affidavits, or Quitclaim Deeds, etc., are sent for recording and a final title policy is issued to the lender, and owners title policy is issued to the new owner of the property.
The closing agent reviews the Closing Disclosure/HUD-1 Settlement Statement with the buyer and seller, and all documents that are part of the closing process.
A warranty deed is signed by the seller, conveying the property to the buyer.
The buyer and seller (if necessary) wire funds to cover the closing costs.
At the conclusion, all funds pertaining to the transaction are disbursed according the Closing disclosure/HUD-1 Settlement Statement, including payoff(s) and seller’s proceeds.
Title Specialists, Inc. writes all insurance through Old Republic Title Insurance.
For more information on our title process, feel free to give us a call!
In preparation for the closing, a major portion of the closing agent’s job is to gather information and documents from various sources, including the parties involved. It may be your responsibility to provide some of the items.
Below are the most common types of information and documentation required at a closing. Other items may be required as a result of your particular circumstances.
Loan Information for existing mortgages or liens: Your new mortgage lender must receive a first mortgage on your property. Consequently at closing, all other mortgages or liens, including home equity lines, must be paid off. To help ensure your closing is not delayed unnecessarily, provide the title company with the lender’s name, address, telephone number, and loan number as soon as possible. Provide information regarding tax liens or utility financing statements. Most mortgage lenders require a written request before releasing payoff information.
Payoffs other than mortgages: Sometimes other creditors, like lenders with credit cards or unsecured lines of credit, must be paid off at the closing, either to consolidate debt or to qualify a party for the new loan being made. Information regarding these accounts, such as lender’s name, address, telephone number, and account number should be provided as soon as possible.
Termite letter: At the closing, your lender may require a current (within 30-90 days, depending on the form) letter from a licensed pest exterminating company, stating that there is no active infestation of termites and that there is no damage from prior infestation (or in the case of damage, that such damage has been corrected). Typically, the seller will obtain this letter; however, the contract for sale may provide otherwise.
Survey: Some lending programs require a current (within 60-90 days) survey or mortgage loan inspection (MLI) of your property. This drawing serves to locate the improvements on the land for the lender’s purposes only. An MLI is not a boundary survey and should not be relied on for locating exact property lines. If an MLI is required, the lender or closing agent will order the MLI from a licensed surveyor early in the closing process. If a survey or MLI of your property has recently been made, advise the closing agent immediately so that it can be updated into a form acceptable to your lender and the title insurance company. If the lender does not require a survey or MLI as part of the loan documentation, and you would like to have one made, please advise the title company as soon as possible.
Flood insurance: If the flood determination obtained by your lender indicates that any portion of the property is located within a flood zone, your lender may require a policy of flood insurance. Your regular insurance agent will be able to provide information on flood insurance and this information should be provided to the closing agent as soon as it is available. The first year’s premium will be paid in advance at the closing and monthly escrow payments will be included in your payment to the lender.
Hazard insurance: Your mortgage lender will require that you have a hazard insurance policy insuring the house against fire and other casualties in an amount not less than guaranteed replacement value. Binders or commitments to insure are not acceptable. The first year’s premium will be paid in advance, either at the closing or outside the closing (then a paid receipt must be provided) and monthly escrow payments will be included in your payment to the lender. In order to make sure all your new lender’s requirements are met (proper premium and coverage amount, correct loss payee name and address, etc.), you should advise your closing agent before the closing of the name and telephone number of your insurance agent. Condominiums are generally insured through the homeowners’ association.
Septic letter: If the property being purchased or refinanced is not connected to a sewer, some lenders will require that the local health authority provide a current certification that the house is served by a properly constructed and operating septic tank system. The local county health department will have the proper form and know the proper procedures. For FHA and VA loans, the letter must state that public sewers are not available, and other special requirements may apply. Ask your lender for these requirements. Normally, the seller (in the case of a purchase) or the borrower (in the case of a refinance) will obtain this letter. In order to avoid a last minute discovery at closing that the letter obtained is inadequate or unacceptable, you should provide it to the closing agent in advance of the closing, preferably as soon as it is obtained. Even if the lender does not require a septic letter, your contract may provide otherwise.
Well letter: If the property being purchased is not connected to a public water supply, a current letter from the local health authority may be required stating the water quality is satisfactory and that the water quantity supplied by the pump and storage system is adequate and reliable. A copy of the test, which shows that treatment is unnecessary, may be required. Normally, the seller will obtain this letter. In order to avoid a last minute discovery at closing that the letter obtained is inadequate or unacceptable, you should provide it to the closing agent in advance of the closing, preferably as soon as it is obtained.
Homebuyer’s warranty: Many contracts provide that a one-year warranty be furnished to the purchaser at closing. The warranty, which is most often paid for by the seller, covers systems and appliances in the house for a period of one year, subject to the terms of the agreement.
Power of attorney: If a party to the transaction is unable to be present at the closing, a power of attorney may be used, subject to lender and title underwriter approval. Please contact the title company as soon as you know that a power of attorney may be necessary.
Conditions of closing: New loan approval may be granted to a borrower, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions, which may include the sale of a previous residence, liquidation of a stock or other investment account, and / or payment of outstanding credit accounts. Borrowers should check with the lender before closing to ascertain whether any such requirements exist and to satisfy those requirements.
Funding instructions: If a party is required to bring funds to the closing, due to changed banking practices and the Tennessee Good Funds Law, please note, we only accept cashier’s checks up to $5,000.00, and must have a wire for all funds over $5,000.00. We cannot accept any personal checks. Please contact your closing agent for wiring instructions to proceed. Funds that are not “good funds” (cash, personal checks, cashier’s checks over $5,000.00) may cause a delay in disbursement at closing.