Frequently Asked Questions

Settlement FAQs

When can I settle?

Sales Transactions – all parties agree to a date in the Sales Contract
Refinance Transactions – settlement is scheduled when your lender is ready to proceed.

Who will be at the settlement?

Buyers and seller (or borrowers in the case of refinances) must be present at settlement. Generally the realtors will also attend settlement and in some cases the loan officer is present. A representative from Titleworks, Inc. will be present to conduct the settlement. Buyers, sellers (borrowers) who cannot attend may appoint someone to act for them. The absent person must execute a power of attorney appointing an attorney-in-fact to act on his/her behalf. Powers of attorney for buyers/borrowers generally must be approved by the lender.

Who selects the settlement company?

In Virginia, all parties have the right to select their own settlement company.

What will it cost to settle?

Fees are fixed based on the type of transaction (sales, refinances, construction loans, home equity loans). Title insurance costs are calculated based on the sale and/or loan amount. Parties can expect to pay government recordation/transfer taxes. Borrowers will incur lender’s fees, interest and tax and insurance escrows at settlement. The Settlement Statement is prepared as soon as the lender provides Titleworks Inc. with the closing instructions. The Settlement Statement is then forwarded to the lender for review and approval. After lender’s approval, the Settlement Statement is forwarded to all parties for review prior to settlement. Funds needed at settlement must be in the form of a bank cashier’s check or certified check and are payable to Titleworks, Inc. as the settlement agent.

What happens to escrowed taxes and insurance when the loan has been paid off?

The payoff lender will send the escrow balance refund within a few weeks after receipt of the payoff.

What should be brought to settlement?

All parties must bring their valid, government issued, picture identification (driver’s license or passport). Sellers should also bring house keys, garage door openers, owners manuals, parking permits, pool passes. Anyone receiving funds from the settlement and desiring those funds to be transferred electronically should bring their wiring instructions (in most cases a voided check or deposit slip is sufficient).

What happens at settlement?

The Settlement Statement (also referred to as the “HUD-1”) is reviewed with all parties by the settlement company. With sales, the sellers execute documents first including a deed transferring ownership of the property to the buyers. After signing their documents, the sellers usually leave the settlement table at which point the buyers/refinance borrowers begin the review of their loan documents. The Titleworks representative will make sure that all parties understand the documents. The entire process takes about an hour.

When do I receive my money?

Titleworks will disburse all of the funds received in a settlement as soon as all the appropriate documents have been recorded in the land records of the City or County where the property is located. In Virginia, all funds are received from all parties, then documents are recorded in the land records at the City or County Courthouse and then all funds are disbursed to all appropriate parties according to the Settlement Statement.

When will the current mortgage be paid off?

Payoffs will be sent by overnight delivery or by wire transfer on the day of recordation.

Title Insurance FAQs

What is a title?

Title is the legal evidence, or right, that a person has to ownership and possession of land. It is possible that someone other than the seller has legal right to the property you are buying. If that right can be established, this person can claim the property outright or make demands on the owner for its use.

What can make a title defective?

There can be any number of problems that remain undisclosed even after the most careful search of public records. These hidden “defects” are very dangerous and sometimes are not discovered for months, even years after you purchase your home. You might be forced to spend a substantial amount of money on a legal defense, and still result in the loss of your property.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance provides protection from these hidden defects. The list of defects goes on and on, but here are a few examples:

  • Deeds from minors or non-existent entities
  • Creditor claims
  • Defective title
  • Easements by prescription not discovered by a survey
  • Errors in tax records
  • Duress in execution of documents
  • Undisclosed heirs
  • Federal and/or state inheritance gift tax liens
  • Mistaken interpretation of wills and trusts
  • Deeds executed under a false or expired power of attorney
Title insurance protects your investment in your home. It will protect you from financial loss caused by title problems. Title insurance provides all the coverage you need to protect the investment in your home.

What are the two types of title insurance policies?

  • Lender’s policy - When you have a mortgage on the property, the lender will more than likely require a lender’s title policy. The lender’s policy only insures that the lender has a valid, enforceable lien on the property. A lender’s policy only protects the lender.
  • Owner’s policy – This policy is designed to protect the owner from title defects that existed prior to the issue date of your policy. It also covers the full cost of any legal defense of your title.

How often do I have to pay title insurance?

The title insurance premium for an owner’s policy is a one time fee. Because the lender’s policy only protects a particular loan, when you refinance, in most cases, the new loan will require a new lender’s policy. If you have an existing owner’s policy, the premium for a new lender’s policy can be issued at a reduced rate (reissue rate).

As a purchaser of a real property, why should I purchase an owner's title insurance policy?

Purchasers of real estate need protection against serious financial loss due to a defect in the title to the property purchased. For a single, one-time premium, a buyer can receive the protection of a title insurance policy – a policy that is backed by the reserves and solvency of a national title insurance underwriter. A title insurance policy will cover both claims arising out of title problems that could have been discovered in the land records, and those not of record defects that could not be discovered in the land records even with the most complete title examination. A title insurance policy will not only protect the insured owner, but also that person’s heirs for as long as they hold title to the property and even after they sell by warranty deed. The title insurance underwriter will not only satisfy any valid claim made against the insured’s title, but it will pay for the costs and legal expenses of defending against a title claim.

As a seller of a real property, is there any advantage to having purchased an owner's title insurance policy?

An owner of real property whose interest is insured by an owners title insurance policy has the assurance that the title will be marketable when selling the property. The title insurance policy protects the seller from financial damage if the seller’s title is rejected by a prospective purchaser. Also, when the seller conveys title with “warranties”, the seller is still proected if the buyer sues because of a breach of those warranties.