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Home Closing 101
Do you know what to expect on closing day?
Most people don’t. And that can lead to some uneasiness. But help is here. The American Land Title Association, or ALTA, has created a website featuring information every homebuyer can use to help familiarize themselves with the closing process before walking into the closing

The Home Closing 101 Site
At Home Closing 101 you will find information you can use to prepare yourself for closing. The site covers topics such as title insurance, escrow fees and closing costs. So when the time comes to sign on the dotted line you’ll feel fully prepared.

Home Closing 101 is especially helpful for first time buyers. Buying a house is an exciting time and the more you know about the process, the more relaxed you’ll be going through it. Spend a little time on the site and you can walk through the home buying process, receiving explanations for each step and helpful hints on how to find the right people to help you on your journey to homeownership.

Click here to start learning about the home buying process.

What Is American Land Title Association (ALTA)?
Founded in 1907, ALTA is the national trade association and voice of the title insurance industry. ALTA members search, review and insure land titles to protect home buyers and mortgage lenders who invest in real estate.

ALTA members advocate safe and efficient transfer of real estate and insist on high standards when searching land title records and preparing insurance documents. The industry seeks to eliminate risk before insuring, which provides homebuyers with the best possible chance of avoiding land title problems. But, title difficulties can and do occur, and members offer both Owner’s and Lender’s title insurance policies as effective safeguards.

Click here to visit the ALTA website.

About Stewart Title Insurance
Stewart (NYSE: STC) is a leading provider of real estate services, including global residential and commercial title insurance, escrow and settlement services, lender services, underwriting, specialty insurance and other solutions that facilitate successful real estate transactions. Stewart offers personalized service, industry expertise and customized solutions for virtually any type of real estate transaction, through our direct operations, network of approved agencies and other companies within the Stewart family. Through a focus on integrity, smart growth and conservative management, Stewart remains committed to serving our customers, innovating and improving to meet their needs in an ever-changing market. 

Please click on the link below for more information:


Owning real estate is one of the most precious values of freedom in this country. You want the assurance that the property you are buying will be yours. Other than your mortgage holder, no one else should have any claims or restrictions against your home.

Title insurance is issued after a careful examination of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title faults are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. Title insurance eliminates any risks and losses caused by faults in title from an event that occurred before you owned the property.

Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life, or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults, but does protect you from risks or undiscovered interests. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium for a policy that remains effective until the property is sold to a new owner - even if that doesn't occur for decades.

What is a Lender's Policy?

A lender's policy, also known as a loan policy or a mortgage policy, protects the lender against loss due to unknown title defects. It also protects the lender's interest from certain matters which may exist, but may not be known at the time of the sale.

This policy only protects the lender's interest. It does not protect the purchaser. That is why a real estate purchaser needs an owner's policy.

What is an owner's policy?

An owner's policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in the ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy.

What does an owner's policy provide?

- Protection from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home, up to the cost of the title policy.
- Payment of legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim.
- Payment of successful claims against the title to your home covered by the policy, up to the cost of the policy.

Why the seller needs to provide title insurance?

Any purchaser will need evidence that his investment in your property is free of title defects. The title insurance policy that you provide the purchaser is a guarantee that you are selling a clear title to your real estate, unencumbered by any legal attachments that might limit or jeopardize ownership. It will reassure your purchaser that he or she is protected from any risks or losses and could help you close your deal.

Why the buyer needs title insurance?

Without title insurance, you may not be fully protected against errors in public records, hidden defects not disclosed by the public records, or mistakes in examination of the title. As a result, you may be held fully accountable for any prior liens, judgments or claims brought against your new property. If this should occur, your title policy insures that you will be defended at no cost against all covered claims up to the amount of the policy.

How much does title insurance cost?

The insurance commission approves and controls the premiums for title insurance policies. The premiums are paid only once and the cost depends upon the purchase price of the property and the policy amount must be equal to the purchase price.

What does title insurance protect from?

  • Fraud
  • Adverse possession
  • Rights of divorced parties
  • Deeds by minors
  • Undisclosed Heirs
  • Errors in tax records
  • False affidavits of death or heirship
  • Probate matters
  • Deeds and wills by persons of unsound mind
  • Conveyances by undisclosed divorced spouses
  • Forfeitures of real property due to criminal acts
  • Deeds by persons falsely representing their marital status
  • Documents executed by a revoked or expired Power of Attorney
  • Defective acknowledgements due to improper or expired notarization
  • Mistakes and omissions resulting in improper abstracting
  • Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases and other documents
  • False impersonation of the true land owner
To prepare for your first encounter with a mortgage broker, Schutt Law in Fort Myers has come up with the following blog post centered on all the basics you must know before meeting up with a hypothecate.

If you have just started your search for your dream home or your family is on the hunt for a new investment property, you've probably already made an appointment to consult your bank manager or mortgage broker on the subject. If that resonates with you and you are wondering what you should have prepared, keep scrolling through this post and jot some ideas down to ensure you don't forget them!

If you're ready to be a homeowner, know you can rely on the pros at Schutt Law in Fort MyersCall (239) 540-7007 to get the best title services at your disposal.

Give a Constant Checkup to Your Finances

One of the main details your broker is expected to inquire about is your current financial situation. So, it would be best to have the following information in order before your rendezvous:
  1. Sit down and outline your finances.
  2. You could begin by listing down any monthly duties and payments, then hebdomadal, etc.
  3. Prepare this report as classified expenses and revenue streams.
When planning and analyzing this report, you must look to the bigger picture by focusing on the future long-term. This idea applies to your mortgager and yourself. Instead of narrowing down your info to minimize your current expenses, consider any conventional and troublesome future payments, such as unforeseen events, accidents, family vacations in the next few years, or even the arrival of a new family member.

Monitor Your Credit

Your mortgage isn't the only person with access to your credit history, so don't wait to get familiar with your credit situation at the last minute or when you're sitting in front of them. Ask for a duplicate of your account's movements to ensure everything is going according to plan. If there are any unusual debts, make sure they're all paid off before your meeting. If you notice something that looks out of place, approach the subject and fix it before seeing your broker. A mortgager won't be willing to ignore any debt reflected on your report or why a payment was late. To sum it all up, the goal is to encounter your mortgage broker with a clear and clean credit record.

Once your credit has been approved and you have found your dream house, be sure to protect your ownership with title insurance. Reach out to the professionals at Schutt Law in Fort Myers by calling (239) 540-7007 and ask how title insurance can provide financial protection for your home.

Show Your Future

Once your mortgager or broker has gotten a glimpse into your current finances, they will want to guarantee that you are capable of repaying every single one of your future responsibilities. Speak with your employer to get a letter describing your employment status, history, and, if possible, a note to verify your presumed ongoing employment. If you have some savings set aside, in case of a loss of income, bring proof of these separate funds. Furthermore, if you have payments that will terminate during your mortgage, be sure to add these as foreseen future income, which you could utilize towards your repayments or as an extension to your emergency fund.

Present Your Plan

The last thing that any broker needs to hear is that you haven't considered what house style you like or the neighborhood where you want to buy. They need to hear that you have done your research and your decision has finally gotten serious. Examine all budget data and your investigation into such matters as neighborhoods and average house prices, neighborhood maintenance fees, etc. Once approved, your mortgage will need title insurance to defend their funds, so don't neglect this service and add it to your budget.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You are not the first one of your buddies or relatives to meet with a mortgage broker, so don't be shy to ask questions to inform yourself during this experience and ask for guidance on any issues your friends wish they had inquired about through their meetings. Some beginner questions would be:
  • Information about their fees
  • What types of insurance you will be required to take out
  • What repayments protection can they offer
  • And of course, what is the best rate you can give

Time to Brace Yourself

With all of your paperwork in order, it's time to get ready to take this big step. Be sure that you and anybody else included in the application is available and prepared to sign the papers to start with the process. Don't forget that everybody is conscious of their ongoing commitment and that those involved are on the same page. If there are still apprehensions among the applicants, now is the opportunity to address and fix them. Don't forget that the only move forward left with the application process is if all applicants are happy and satisfied with the circumstance.

Protect Your Property With Title Insurance

Just because you have prepared all of your paperwork accurately doesn't indicate that everyone involved in past transfers has. A small error or omission in the title can end up harming all your plans and hard work!

Before you sign any papers, dial (239) 540-7007 to speak with an expert at Schutt Law in Fort Myers and ask about the protection title insurance can provide for your ownership rights.