Frequently Asked Questions

Title Insurance is a two-part transaction. First we search public and property records to assure you that there aren’t any errors in the existing records. We look for clerical errors, undisclosed beneficiaries, defects in deeds, unknown liens and fraud involving the deed. A search verifies that the seller really owns the property and is free to sell it.

One out of every three searches reveals a title or public record defect that’s fixed before the transaction closes, making this a very important step.

Second, we contract with an underwriting company to issue an insurance policy that will pay to defend you in court if anyone challenges your title and to compensate you for your equity if you lose. This amount will be up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy. Homebuyers typically need two policies: an owner’s policy which protects them, and a lender’s policy, which safeguards the lender.

You finally found it. That perfect house or piece of land to call your own. Or that special commercial space to start your new business. Buying real estate will likely be one of the biggest investments in your lifetime. All of the costs are adding up and you decide that maybe you don’t need to worry about title insurance, after all the bank is getting their coverage and you have a report, so what’s the big deal?

Plenty.

Title is the owner’s right to use the property. Real property can be titled in many ways with many entities involved. It can have restrictions on the use. Someone other than the owner can have rights to the property. A bank or an individual may have a lien. A government entity might have a lien. Easements might allow access to someone other than the owner. A lenders title policy protects a lenders interest in a property and does not protect your rights as an owner. And the list goes on.
A search from our experienced professionals will reveal most of these issues and a report is a good way to start, but here are a few other things that may arise after you buy and should be considered:

• Forgery of documents by prior owners, including but not limited to deeds and lien documents
• Forgery of released lien documents
• Falsified powers of attorney
• Lack of legal access
• Mistakes of public record
• Poor or insufficient notary acknowledgments
• Misinterpretations of a Will or Corporate documents
• Special Assessments
• Any items of public record that may have been missed in the initial title report
• Child Support liens

All of the above items, and many more will be covered under your owner’s title insurance policy. Many of these problems can occur long after you have purchased the property and, with an owner’s title policy, you can rest assured that your property rights are protected. That is our commitment to you.

So you have made the offer on the property you want and need to move to the next step. Our experienced and knowledgeable Escrow Department is here to help.

Escrow is the neutral party that will help gather and hold the required documents and funds from the necessary parties in order to help you navigate your way through the closing process. Your purchase agreement or earnest money contract give us the initial instructions needed to begin your closing process. We communicate with your Real Estate Agent(s), your Lender(s), your Attorney, the Seller and the Buyer to bring about closing. We also help to clear title, prepare closing statements, prepare and receive documents needed for closing, arrange for recording of documents, hold funds until all conditions are met and disburse funds according to the instructions provided.

We are not attorneys or tax specialists, so we can’t answer all of the questions or assist you with legal or tax advice. It is wise to contact an experienced real estate attorney or an accountant if you have questions of a legal or tax nature. We will do all we can to make the process run smoothly and efficiently so you can focus on enjoying your new property. The closing process can be daunting and complex, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about your specific transaction.

No question is too big or too small. Yukon Title’s experienced and knowledgeable staff will assist you with any title and escrow questions you may have. We are locally owned and operated. Alaska matters to us. Solutions to issues we discover are commonly local in nature and it takes local people to solve these problems. We have the talent and experience to provide you with the best possible service throughout Alaska. Please feel free to call or stop by for help with your real estate needs and thank you for being a valuable part of our community.