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 and scheduling movers, it's comforting to know that skilled professionals are busy working behind the scenes to make sure your closing runs smoothly. For more information about the closing process and why you should purchase an owner's title insurance policy to protect your investment, go to HomeClosing 101.
Click here to find an ALTA member company to help you with your closing and to purchase an owner's title insurance policy.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to have your questions answered.
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.