A class offered by Linda Berg (the Business Development Director of Title Guarantee a division of the Iowa Finance Authority) was offered yesterday to our Board of Realtors. It was a very informative class that I wish I had taken 2 years ago. I know we (Iowa) are one of the few abstract states left in the US, I think there's a total of 14 out of 50. We don't have Title Insurance we have a different system that involves an abstracter and an attorney. However, most of the banks still put title guarantee on mortgaged property. The Buyer pays for this coverage although it is for the bank; usual cost is about $110 for $200,000 mortgage. Did you know, for an additional $25 the buyer can be covered? Me neither - I have bought a lot of property in the last few years and I have never once had anyone - a Realtor, a banker, an attorney tell me or ask me if I wanted Title Guarantee.
Why do you need it - abstractors and attorneys are human and they make mistakes, there's such a thing as a mechanics lien and it may not show up until 90 days after the work is done, judgements and liens can be filed after the closing and before the mortgage and deed are recorded leaving you liable, legal discriptions can be inaccurate, unreleased mortgages exist, and a number of other very nasty things you don't want to have to figure out on your own or at your own expense.
Unfortunately, I am personally involved in a property with a big problem, some time in the early 1900's part of the legal description was not continued with the abstract. I never knew about Title Guarantee, I am sure my bank has it and I paid for it but I can't use it. From now on I will never purchase any real property without it, all my Buyers will be educated on the need for this and the pitfalls of not having it. Some of those pitfalls include: big legal bills, inability to sell a property, angry neighbors, and a whole lot of frustration.
check out the link at www.iowafinanceauthority.gov