Title and Escrow
What is Title Insurance?
Title insurance is often misunderstood by most consumers.
Different from other types of insurance that protect you against losses that may happen in the future, title insurance protects YOU, the insured, from matters or faults that occurred in the past that may affect your property.
Close scrutiny by the title insurer of property-related-recorded documents aids in the elimination of many possible hidden risks that can undermine the validity of homeownership.
While the possibility of unidentified risks still exist after a transfer of title, the purchase of a title insurance policy protects the lender and buyer from invalid claims made against the title of a property.
So, yes – title insurance is important!
Types of Title & Escrow offered:
What Is Escrow?
An escrow, sometimes referred to as a closing, is an arrangement in which an impartial third party, called an escrow holder, holds legal documents and funds on behalf of a buyer and seller and/or lender. The funds are distributed and documents are recorded only in accordance with the written instructions received from the parties, thus consummating the transaction.
People buying and selling real estate often open an escrow for their protection and convenience. All parties rely on the escrow holder to faithfully carry out their mutually agreed upon instructions relating to the transaction, or to advise them if any of the instructions are contradictory or cannot be completed.
Once all terms and conditions of the written instructions have been fulfilled, and all closing conditions are satisfied, the escrow is closed and the transfer of property and money is accomplished.
Customer Information Services
Need it? Got it. Need it fast? Happy to help.
- List Packs/Trios *
- CC&Rs and Deed Copies *
- Map Kits *
- Targeted Prospecting Lists **
- Notice of Default Searches **
* Availability of Information is restricted based on state regulations and customer type.
** Additional fees may apply based on state regulations.
Builder & Developer Services
Whether it’s a single lot purchase for a custom home or a large subdivision, new construction projects have unique needs. AmeriTitle tailors our services to meet the needs of your project. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing the research, property information, and title and escrow services that you require for peace of mind throughout the entire process.
We offer services for each phase of your project, including:
- Customized Bare Lot or Developable Land Searches
- Developer Data Packages
- Robust GIS Mapping Services
- Comparable Sales Information* (on land, lots, or homes)
- Easement, CC&R, & Deed Copies
- Title & Escrow Services
- Early Issue Coverage (with approval – Oregon only)
- Document Transportation, Recording, and Notary Services
- Plat Recording Assistance
- Targeted Prospecting Lists
- Closing Convenience Services
Note: Availability of products and services varies by state and location. Fees may apply to services and products noted.
*Comparable sales information is available in Oregon
We have additional specialized tools and services for our builder and developer partners. Connect with a local AmeriTitle professional for details and information.
Centralized Order Services
Do you have title and escrow needs in multiple counties? AmeriTitle’s Centralized Order Services has the dedicated team you need to coordinate all of your transactions.
The AmeriTitle Solutions And Production (ASAP) Team provides one point of contact for order placement, order tracking, updates and communication. Focused on delivering the first-rate service that you and your clients expect, the ASAP Team’s proactive communication and attention to detail ensure that your orders are handled efficiently and accurately.
Contact us today for more information at 866-337-3776 or contact us.
Default & REO Services
AmeriTitle’s title and escrow teams are experienced in handling the unique challenges of distressed property transactions. We customize our already solid processes to meet the needs of our default and REO clients. Whether a deed in lieu, foreclosure or REO sale, AmeriTitle provides compliant title products and closing services for these transactions.
Exchange it 1031
A 1031 exchange, or like-kind exchange (LKE), allows you to defer various forms of taxes—including capital gains, depreciation recapture, and state tax in most states. You can be eligible for a 1031 Exchange when you sell real estate that meets these requirements.
Generally, all real estate is like-kind to other types or kinds of real estate. For example, an apartment building could be exchanged for a retail center.
Use of a Qualified Intermediary
An unrelated third party or Qualified Intermediary (QI) may be used to facilitate the 1031 exchange transaction. A taxpayer cannot utilize their realtor, lawyer, accountant or a related party, or agent as a QI. Additionally, several states require that QIs be compliant with regulatory requirements regarding insurance, bonding, and the manner in which exchange funds are held, state licensing, etc.
Time Limits & Identification Requirement
A taxpayer is required to acquire or identify the target replacement property within 45 days after the transfer of the relinquished property. A written document that recognizably identifies the replacement property must be signed by the taxpayer and received by the Qualified Intermediary on or before the 45th day. Properties acquired within the 45-day designation period are deemed to be identified. A taxpayer has 180 days (or the due date for filing of taxes for the year the property was sold) to acquire the replacement property. For example, if the relinquished property is sold in December, the due date for the filing the tax return for that year would be less than 180 days. In such case, it would be necessary for the taxpayer to file for a tax-filing extension in order to utilize the full 180 days.
It is not enough for properties to be sold and purchased within the timelines. An actual exchange must take place in which one property is exchanged for another of like-kind. Use of a Qualified Intermediary can ensure the sale and purchase become an exchange. More than one property may be sold or acquired through a 1031 exchange.
Holding Period Requirement
There is no holding period that is specifically defined in Section 1031 or the regulations. It is largely a matter of the taxpayer’s intent when the property was acquired. For example, the intent can generally be determined by such factors as actual rental, proof of attempted rental, etc. However, if a replacement property is acquired then immediately sold or fixed up and sold, that might indicate the property was acquired for resale and is therefore dealer property or inventory and cannot qualify for an exchange under Section 1031.
Qualified Use Requirement
Assets to be exchanged must have been held for productive use in a trade or business or held for investment.
No Constructive or Actual Receipt of Exchange Funds
It is a violation if the taxpayer (or an agent for the taxpayer) receives exchange funds or the taxpayer is directly or indirectly able to control the exchange funds during the exchange period. Use of a Qualified Intermediary can prevent any improper receipt of funds for exchange purposes.
Please contact your local branch for more information.
What Is An Underwriter?
A title insurer is often referred to as an underwriter because they “underwrite” the risk associated with hidden defects covered by the title insurance policy. We are not an underwriter. We are an agent and we work with our underwriter partners.
What Is Account Services?
Account Services is an arrangement to have a neutral party service the contract between a buyer and a seller. In doing so, the account servicing company handles the details, such as retaining the original documents for safekeeping; accepting and distributing funds; calculating principal and interest; and retaining reserves for taxes and insurance.
What Is the Difference Between a Warranty Deed Versus a Quit Claim Deed?
A Warranty Deed contains guarantees or assurances by the grantor (seller) that the deed conveys good and unencumbered title. These guarantees are known as covenants of title. Covenants may vary somewhat in their scope.
What Is the Difference Between a Mortgage and a Deed of Trust?
The mortgage is, in form, a conveyance of the land by the borrower to the lender, followed by description of debt and includes a provision or clause to the effect that the mortgage shall be void on full payment of the debt. A mortgage involves only two parties: the borrower and lender.
In the deed of trust, the borrower conveys the land, not to the lender, but to the trustee, in trust for the benefit of the holder of the promissory note that represents the debt.
I am Refinancing My Second Home in a Different City Than I Currently Live. Do I Need to Travel to Complete the Transaction?
No, you certainly don’t! AmeriTitle has many locations throughout Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Choose an AmeriTitle location that best fits your needs – regardless of your location, your transaction can be handled seamlessly with AmeriTitle.
Do I Get the Keys to My New House When I Sign the Papers?
Although the signing is a very important part of the closing process, in reality, the transaction does not ‘close’ until the funds are provided to the title company and the deed to transfer title is recorded at the county courthouse. Keys are usually provided a day or a few days after signing.
How Does the Foreclosure Process Work?
A mortgage foreclosure is enforced in accordance to a court supervised foreclosure process, while a deed of trust foreclosure gives the lender the option to bypass the court system altogether by following the procedures outlined in the deed of trust and applicable state laws.
If I Want to Bid on a Property In a Trustee’s Sale, Do I Have to Have Money to Hand in a Bid?
Yes, certified funds above credit bid amount and up to the max you are willing to pay.
What is a REO?
The technical real estate acronym stands for “Real Estate Owned.” It includes any real estate inventory that is held by any lender, after the foreclosure process is complete. In order to be a true REO, the vesting deed into the lender’s name has been recorded.
How Quickly Can My REO Transaction Close?
The time frame is very similar to that of purchasing non-REO property.
What Is a Short Sale, and How Does it Work?
A short sale means that the note holder is getting “shorted” in funds due to them. When a homeowner sells a property, the lender agrees to accept a payoff amount that is “short” of all the funds owed to them. This happens when the loan they originated on in the past few years has a higher balance than the property is currently worth.