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How Your Closing Attorney Conducts A Title Search

How Your Closing Attorney Conducts A Title SearchWhat Are You Looking For As A Closing Attorney When Conducting A Title Search?

Attorney title persons in Florida are backed by something called the Fund. The Fund is owned and operated by attorneys in Florida. The Fund is at the disposal of these attorneys and will do the title search for an attorney in the background.

Once an attorney orders a title search from the Fund, they will work it up and send it back to the attorney to analyze it and address any issues on it. So, the closing attorney doesn’t actually conduct the title search – that process is outsourced to what is similar to a giant law firm.

The outcome of a title search is called the title commitment. The closing attorney analyzes that commitment for any issues, which can include…

  • Liens,
  • Unauthorized recordings,
  • Encumbrances,
  • Easements, or
  • Judgments.

The closing attorney will work with the individual or company to resolve any issues that may have been identified with the title commitment. All issues must be resolved before a title can be cleared. If the issue cannot be resolved a clear title can’t be issued. This is where some deals fall apart.

What Is A Lien Easement Or Any Other Issues That May Arise When Doing A Title Search?

The most common lien is typically a utility lien, which means that the previous owner didn’t pay off their last utility bill. This can be a power, water, or other bill that the utility provider has recorded a lien on based on that last missed payment. The utility liens are usually easily fixed by going back and finding the person who owes that payment.

What Does Free And Clear Mean As It Relates To A Closing?

If you are considered “free and clear”, that means that you…

  • Can convey the property without issue or hindrance,
  • Have an unblemished title,
  • Are the sole owner of the property, and
  • Have the sole power to convey the property.

What Is A Homeowners Insurance Policy, Why Is This Important, And Do I Need To Be Concerned With It?

If you’re getting a mortgage or loan rather than paying cash, you will be required by the lender to have homeowners insurance for the life of the loan. If you are in a flood zone in Florida, you’ll also be required to have flood insurance, which is separate.

You would need to have documentation and proof that you have already obtained homeowners insurance or you have a quote that will go into effect the day of closing.

If there are HOA dues tied to your property, that is also something that will need to be checked. Sometimes, it’s recorded that a previous owner has had an issue and that would come up in the title search. However, it’s your closing attorney’s job to reach out to the HOA as close to closing as possible to make sure that the seller isn’t behind on their dues.

That’s what we call an estoppel letter that is sent to the homeowners’ association. An estoppel letter calls for the homeowners’ association to do a search on the party that’s selling the property and report back any issues, if there are any. With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Real Estate Law Cases, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Real Estate Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step.


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(305) 335-3407

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