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Consumer Information

Welcome to Consumer Information! This section was created especially for you, the prospective homeowner, to help you understand the process of closing. Whether you're purchasing your first home or your fifth, the day of closing should be a time of celebration. While you're busy packing, ordering phone service and scheduling movers, it's comforting to know that skilled professionals are busy working behind the scenes to make sure your closing runs smoothly. You can Find A Local Title Company at www.homeclosing101.com anytime.

On September 18, 2007, ALTA® launched the "The Title Industry Consumer Initiative," which details the association's five-point strategy for improving industry oversight and educating and protecting consumers. The thrust of ALTA®’s Consumer Initiative is to help consumers make informed choices when it comes to title insurance and title-related services. You can learn more about the Consumer Initiative on the ALTA Web site. You can also visit ALTA®’s comprehensive home closing website www.HomeClosing101.org to learn more about the closing process.

Have a specific question? Try one of our Quick Links:

Abstract of Title and Foreclosure

The American Land Title Association is the national trade association for the title insurance and settlement services industry. It does not create, store or sell abstracts of title. Often, people ask ALTA how they can obtain a copy of the abstract to their property. To obtain an abstract of title, you should hire a local title company. You can locate a local title company by clicking this link: www.homeclosing101.org/local.cfm.

However, many people do not understand exactly what an abstract of title is. This page will provide you with useful information about abstracts of title.

When a homeowner is purchasing a home or refinancing a mortgage, they will contract with a local title company to insure they have valid title and actually own the land. To make this determination, title professionals search public records to find all the recorded documents that could affect a person’s ownership of the property. These documents could include deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, easements, covenants, etc. A title professional then compiles these records into an internal company document called an abstract of title (or chain of title), which acts as a short history of the land and all the people who have an interest in that land. Abstracts of title are used by buyers, sellers, lenders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and title insurance companies to determine who owns the land.

Please consult a local title company or attorney before using an abstract of title in the defense of a foreclosure, quiet title, or fraud.

You may also contact the land title association in your state for state-specific questions.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the ALTA® Communications Department at communications@alta.org to have your questions answered.



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How To Find Us:
American Land Title Association
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 705
Washington, DC 20036-5104
P. 202.296.3671 F. 202.223.5843
www.alta.org
service@alta.org
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