Title Insurance

Real estate and property law since 2003

Protect Your Investment

Even though a thorough title search is performed,  the Title Insurance Policy protects against hidden defects which do not show up on the title search.

There are two types of title insurance.

  • Lender’s Title Insurance only protects the lender, and is almost always required by the lending company, whether the transaction is the original purchase of the property or a subsequent refinance.  The purchase of the policy is part of customary closing costs. Since most people borrow the money required to purchase real estate, this policy is nearly always issued during the closing process.
  • Owner’s Title Insurance protects the owner. This policy should be issued when the property is purchased.   The Owner must decide to buy the Owner’s Title Insurance Policy – it is not an automatic part of the loan closing process.

If someone initiates a claim against your title, an Owner’s Title Policy provides you with a legal defense.  If your title should fail, the insurance reimburses you the equity in your home up to the value of the policy.  The Owner’s Title Policy protects your investment as long as you own the property.

You wouldn’t consider purchasing a home without also purchasing a Hazard Insurance Policy to protect against fire.  If a home is destroyed in a fire, you can always rebuild.  If you lose the home because of a defect in the title, you lose everything.

In order to provide the best coverage in any situation, Origin Title and Escrow issues lender and owner policies through several title insurance companies.

Origin Title also offers enhanced policies that protect the owner against post-closing events that could affect ownership

Enhanced Title Insurance

The extra insurance provided by an enhanced policy covers risks such as:

  • Claims arising out of fraud, easements
  • If you are forced to remove an existing violation of any covenants, an existing violation of a regulation or law affecting the land
  • If you are forced to move any structures because they encroach on other’s land,
  • If your structures are damaged because of the exercise of a right to maintain or use any easement affecting the land
  • If your neighbor builds any structures after the policy date which encroach on your land.

Perhaps the two most frequent claims are when a neighbor builds a structure encroaching your land or when your land is damaged by someone else using their easement.  Enhanced policies cost a little bit more than the standard policies, but the peace of mind it provides is well worth it.

Title Search Basics

What is a Title Search?
Before any real estate loan closing, a title search is performed.

A title search is a careful examination by an objective third party of all public records that involve title to a specific property.

The purpose of the search is to verify that there are no liens or claims against the property, other than those claimed and disclosed during the current transaction.

A title examination confirms that all former owners have formally given up their rights to the property.

Title searches typically include documents filed during the previous 50 years.

The person conducting the search looks at items such as past owners and deeds, wills, trusts, mortgages, judgments, and other liens.

Why is it required?
Real estate rights are protected by many laws. The owner, the owner’s family and heirs have clear rights or claims relating to the property being sold. Other entities could also have an interest in or a lien upon the property:

  • Governmental Bodies
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Lenders
  • Contractors
  • Creditors

The real estate may be sold without the knowledge of the party having a claim to the property. Or, real estate could be purchased without the purchaser having any knowledge of these claims.

Whether the buyer knows about these rights or not, they remain attached to the title to the property until they are extinguished.


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The Origin Title & Escrow Team

Attorney John C. Bennett has a top-notch staff to keep the office running smoothly and maintain his high-quality standards with closing documents.
  • John C. Bennett
    John C. BennettAttorney, Owner

    John C. Bennett graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and moved to Atlanta the same year. After serving as staff attorney for a medium-sized company for several years, he shifted his focus to real estate title and closings. Origin Title opened its doors in 2003.

    Outside of the office, he spends a lot of time figuring out new ways to injure himself on his mountain bike. John is currently on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity DeKalb, a member of the Georgia Bar, American Bar Association, ALTA and Rotary International. He and his wife Holly have one daughter, and in 2015 added a Boston Terrier to the family.

  • Melissa Hills
      Melissa HillsAttorney

      Melissa Hills graduated from Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia, and began her career working for the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney. After moving back to Atlanta, she worked for the DeKalb County Juvenile Court as an Assistant Solicitor. She joined Origin Title and Escrow in the beginning of 2017. Melissa grew up in Atlanta and has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She has two sons and lives in the City of Decatur.

      On her time off she loves playing. She serves on the Board for Community Advance Practice Nurses (CAPN), a non-profit organization that provides access to health care for Atlanta’s medically underserved.

    • Ann Dugan
        Ann DuganParalegal

        Ann Dugan is a real estate paralegal with 13 years experience. She has managed funding and post-closing for Origin since 2004. She also prepares settlement statements and other pre-closing documents. Ann graduated from Briarcliffe College with a degree in Paralegal Studies.

        Ann is originally from Long Island, NY. She relocated to Georgia in 2000 with her husband and their three children. She is on the board of directors of the Band Boosters and very involved with fundraising. In her spare time, Ann is a consultant for Scentsy Wickless Candles.

      • Pat Logan
          Pat LoganOffice Administrator

          Pat Logan has been a part of the Origin Title & Escrow, Inc. team for over 3 years.  She brings with her ten years experience in the insurance field and several years experience in real estate research.   She is in charge of the schedule, data entry, and post-closing document storage.

          Pat Logan is an avid gardener and enjoys sewing and needlework.

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