Between home owners insurance, property taxes, flood insurance, the VA funding fee and your mortgage payment, you may think to yourself, “What is title insurance and why do lenders require veterans to have it on VA loans?” Title insurance is a policy that protects your mortgage lender against problems relating to the property’s title prior to the date when you purchased your home. Because your home may have gone through several ownership changes, it is important to be protected against anything that could have gone wrong with your title prior to your ownership.
Title insurance insures the lender against a financial loss in case the title has any unknown judgments, outstanding liens against the property including foreclosure, unpaid real estate taxes on the property and the title insurance protects you and your lender if a lawsuit is filed against the title. An example of what title insurance protects the lender against would be if someone who previously owned the property had forged a signature in transferring title. Instead of the lender or you having to pay for this problem out of pocket, title insurance covers the insured party for any claims and legal fees that arise from such problems.
Before issuing a title insurance policy, the title insurance company will search the public land records for matters affecting title to the property. The purpose of this examination is to determine ownership of the property and to identify any possible problems and all liens against the property. If problems are revealed by the title search, frequently they can be resolved so that clear title can pass to you.
Title insurance is required in most states to close on a mortgage for both a purchase and a refinance. On a VA refinance you will need to purchase a new title insurance policy so that the new lender can be protected the same way that the old lender was.
So even though title insurance may seem like a useless expense it actually will save you and your lender in the long run incase you end up having any problems with the title on your home.