The preliminary title report is prepared prior to the issuance of a policy of title insurance. The company issuing the report conducts an extensive search of the public records in order to determine the vesting of the subject real property and what liens or encumbrances affect the property. This information is reduced to writing in the preliminary title report.
The title company has its own copies of most of the public records necessary for a title examination. This compilation of the public records is known as the title plant.
A title plant must contain copies of relevant public records and must be composed of a general index, adequate maps, and a currently posted tract or geographical index for all lands in the county for which title policies are to be issued. Even though a title company has a title plant, it sometimes must examine additional public records in order to complete its search.
After the examination is concluded, the report is typed and forwarded to the interested parties for their inspection.
The Typical Report Consists of the Following Information:
- The addressee – generally the party who will close the transaction, prepare the contract, or close the loan. Copies of the report are sent to the seller, buyer/borrower real estate agent, lender, and attorney if requested.
- Type of policy or policies requested, the liability to be incurred, and the premium amount(s) to be paid.
- Report number and contact person at the title company. If there are any questions regarding a report, the customer should use this number to direct questions to the title or escrow officer handling the file.
- Legal description of the property to be insured. The customer should review the description to determine that all the property to be insured has been examined.
- Effective date – the date through which the title plant is current. Report covers facts known through that date.
- Vesting – current owner’s name(s) and estate in title.
- A reference to the standard printed exceptions.
- Liens, including taxes, and encumbrances against the property.
Notes relevant to the transaction. Example: paid taxes will be shown as a note.