The Title Plant

The Title Plant at Leon County Abstract is over 100 years old and contains all the records from the County Clerk's Office.  Many Oil and Gas Researchers use our plant to research title to minerals and the land in order to lease the minerals from the rightful owner.

In the year 2000, we instituted a Computerized Data System that allows us to quickly and more efficiently search the title to the property.  This, in turn, allows us to help you make the purchase or sale of your land faster!! To date, our records now contain all images indexed with no skips from 1999 through the present. We also now have the courthouse index and images that go back as far as 1925. You can search all the way to 1925 and look at the images without even leaving our computer!

Shoot from the Hip Definitions

Owner's Policy of Title Insurance ~  It's a policy of insurance, not a title search.  It's not a guaranteed title, even if it is from a title company called "Guarantee" Title.  It's not an examination of the mineral title - don't count on it for that! It's just an insurance policy.  It covers legal defense costs and will pay you your per acre cost in the event that you lose the property or any part of it.  You've got to have it, though, because there are so many traps in buying land!

Mortgagee Policy of Title Insurance ~  Insures a lender that the lien securing payment of a promissory note is a first lien.  Second a subordinate liens are not much good because they can be "cut off" if the first lien is foreclosed.

Deed ~ The written instrument which conveys land.  It can contain covenants of general warranty, special warranty, and no covenant of warranty.  This document must be prepared by a lawyer, NOT by a Title Company!

Quitclaim ~ This is not a Deed. It doesn't convey land.  Don't take a quitclaim - get a deed without warranty.

Deed of Trust ~ This, also, is not a Deed.  It's what a mortgage is called in Texas.

Contract for Deed, also known as a Contract for Sale ~ This is often done when a "Developer" buys a large piece of land, makes a large loan and then sells the little pieces off and doesn't pay the loan off.  You buy these small pieces of land on a Contract for Deed in which you owe the "Developer".  You pay him, he pays the lender. Problem: If he doesn't pay his lender and his lender forecloses, you are "cut off" and will lose everything.  Take care when participating in these type of transactions.

Escrow and Closing ~ Settlement of all funds at closing.  All costs are presented to you on a Settlement Statement in conformance with the Earnest Money Contract. When everyone signs, the money is disbursed to the parties according to the Settlement Statement.

Earnest Money Contract ~ You enter a Contract with the seller and put up some portion of the purchase price as earnest money, to bind the sale.  If you default, the seller can keep the earnest money as damages or sue you for performance.


The Closing Process

GETTING STARTED -

The first step in the purchase of a new home or recreational or investment property is to enter into an Earnest Money Contract. The Contract sets forth the agreement between the parties and its terms will govern the closing of the transaction. If a real estate professional is involved, they will know which state-promulgated form to use; if not, you will need to consult an attorney to prepare this important document.

When prepared, the Earnest Money Contract is delivered to the Title Company with the Earnest Money deposit. We will then "open title", that is, open a file and order tax information on the property involved. Leon County Abstract Company will then prepare a Commitment for Title Insurance and forward a copy to you and to your lender, if applicable.


THE COMMITMENT FOR TITLE INSURANCE -

The Commitment is a preliminary title report on the status of the title to the property. It will set forth matters which constitute exceptions to title (easements, mineral reservations and leases, etc.) and will specifiy those things which must be done before title insurance may be issued (releases of lien, filing of probate documents, etcetera.).

When all requirements set forth in the Commitment have been satisfied, and all requirements of any lender involved in the transaction are met, the transaction is ready to close. This process will be coordinated by one of our knowledgeable Escrow Officers.


THE DOCUMENTS -

The documents necessary to carry out the intent of the parties reflected in the Earnest Money Contract will be prepared by an attorney. If a lender is involved, the lender will have loan documents prepared and forwarded to us prior to closing. It should be noted that Title Companies do not prepare legal documents or otherwise practice law. (TO DO SO WOULD BE ILLEGAL.) If you do not have an attorney, we can recommend one or more attornies who are experienced in property matters.


The Closing -

After all documents are prepared and the closing has been scheduled, we will contact you and inform you of the amount of money that you, as the buyer/borrower, will need to bring to the closing.  These funds must be in the form of a Cashier's Check made payable to Leon County Abstract Company.  (The State of Texas requires that Title Companies accept money in the form of "good funds" only.  The Texas Title Insurance Basic Manual Procedural Rule 27 defines "good funds" as: cashier's check, wire transfers, or uncertified funds in an amount less than $1,500 as approved by the Title Company.  PLEASE NOTE: A Credit Union Official Check is not good funds!)

What you need to bring to closing -

*A Driver's License or other picture identification

*Social Security Number

*Good Funds (for the dollar amount we give you)

*Anything required by your lender (contact your lender concerning these items).

At the Closing Table -

After all of the parties have signed the closing documents, we will then make copies of the documents for your records. We will also, if all monies have been deposited with us, write the checks to fully fund the transaction.  Funding a transaction consists of writing all necessary checks to pay each party associated with the file.  You, as the buyer, have an easy role to play - you pay us with one check, and we pay everyone that needs to be paid on your behalf!


 



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