DOES A TITLE SEARCH REVEAL ALL DEFECTS IN THE TITLE?

It may not…simply because the public records, from which an abstract is made, may not show everything which affects the title.  What are some of these hidden risks?

Some of the most serious risks which can not be revealed by a title search, but are covered by a Cherokee Title Company insurance policy include:

  • Marital Status of Owner Incorrectly Given - Under the Kentucky law, one spouse has an ownership interest in the property owned individually by another spouse.  If a spouse does not sign the deed conveying his or her interest he or she still has an interest in the property.
  • Undisclosed Heirs – When an owner dies and there is no will, the courts must decide who the rightful heirs are.  But even then, such a decision by the court may not be final or binding on any heir who was not notified of the proceeding.  Even under a will, the court may have to settle questions of interpretation of the will.
  • Mental Incompetence or Minors – A transfer of property by a minor or a person adjudged to be mentally incomplete raises special problems.  If a deed or release was executed by a person who was a minor or under mental disability at the time, the transaction may be voidable or invalid.
  • Fraud or Forgery – Deeds, releases, mortgages or other documents may be forgeries.
  • Defective Deeds - A deed may have been delivered without consent of the owner or after his or her death.  A document may have been executed under an expired or invalid power of attorney.  
  • Confusion Due to Similar or Identical Names – Despite a careful investigation to prevent it, some confusion of identity is possible.  Two members of the same family might have the same name as in the case of father and son – and the title may be in one while the deed is executed by the other having no title. 
  • Errors in Records or Clerical Work at the Courthouse – Entries or indexing in records may be in error. Clerical mistakes are infrequent, but they do happen.
  • Person/Entity without Proper Power and Authority to Sign - When a lien is released or a deed is signed, only certain people have the proper authority to actually release the obligation or buy the property.  If the incorrect person signs the document is not valid, even though it may appear so on its face.  
  • Misinterpretations of a Deed or Will – Some wills and deeds may be very tricky to interpret.  If full title was not conveyed, the there could still be someone who has a right to the property.

IS THERE ANY WAY TO BE PROTECTED AGAINST THESE RISKS?

Yes, with a Cherokee Title Owner’s Insurance Policy.  Under the terms of a Cherokee Title insurance policy, you are protected against risks and insured against loss. If your title, as insured, is ever attacked, the Cherokee Title Company and its underwriters stand ready to defend it in two ways:

  1. If it is necessary to enter a legal defense of your rights under the policy in any suit or proceeding adversely affected the title, as insured, Cherokee Title’s underwriters, cover all legal expenses for you completely at their expense.
  2. If a loss is sustained, you are protected up to the full amount of your policy.
  3. An Owner’s Policy is typically issued in the amount of the real estate purchase price, and remains in effect for as long as the owner, or his or her heirs, retains an interest in the property.