Appleton • Arcadia • Green Bay • Holmen • Janesville
Kenosha • La Crosse • Wauwatosa • Winona
At Town n’ Country Title, our team of Licensed Title Agents have diverse experience in many aspects of lending, real estate and title insurance which allows us to provide our clients with professional solutions to title problems even in the most complex transactions.
Town n’ Country Title is licensed in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Insurance rates and Settlement costs vary by state but our service remains strong, professional and dependable.
We have experienced staff that is ready to meet your title insurance, settlement services, and all other land title needs in Wisconsin and Minnesota. We have several locations in most major markets to conveniently serve Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Town n’ Country Title, LLC has the insurance products available to make sure your home is protected from title defects. If an issue is found during our extensive search process we work with consumers, lenders and real estate professionals to correct the defect so there are no last minute surprises!
We take care of title issues before they become closing issues!
TITLE INSURANCE POLICIES
We offer protection from loss due to liens, encumbrances, and title defects by offering title insurance. An owner’s policy has a one time fee paid at the time of purchase to protect the buyer and a loan policy protects the lender. We offer a Simultaneous Issue rate when purchased at the same time, as well as a Reissue Rate, which could save homeowners money.
Our closing agents work with lenders, real estate agents, buyer, legal professionals and sellers to order title insurance, collect the documentation needed to facilitate the closing of real estates transactions, disburse funds and make sure all necessary recordings are completed. This allows the final Title Insurance Policy to issued free of title issues.
SEARCH & HOLD (REALTOR FACT SHEET)
Also known as a Realtor Fact Sheet, a Search & Hold can be ordered by real estate agents prior to listing a property for informational purposes. The Search & Hold is basically a search packet tailored to the real estate agents needs to assist in the listing process of their client’s property.
CONSTRUCTION DISBURSEMENT SERVICES
We work with lenders and consumers throughout the construction process, residential or commercial, to best guard against construction liens, cost overruns and loss due to incorrect disbursement of funds. We also work with contractors to ensure correct and timely payment of draw requests.
Letter Report is a brief report that summarizes information of public record affecting a property from the time the current owner takes ownership of a property through the latest effective date at the register of deeds. This is not an insurance product but to be used for informational purposes only.
A search packet can be done for a specific amount of time (Current Owner, 20 yr, 40/60 yr, etc…) and is a report that summarizes all information of public record affecting a property including chain of title, easements, and can include copies of documents.
If you borrow money to buy a home or property, a lending institution will probably make you buy a title insurance policy to protect its interest. As a consumer, it’s in your best interest to be well-informed about title insurance, how it works, and what to look for in title insurance.
Title insurance helps provide home buyers and/or mortgage lenders protection against losses resulting from unknown defects in the title to your property that existed before the closing of a real estate transaction.
Those unknown “deficits” could be:
- outstanding liens on the property (e.g., unpaid real estate taxes by a prior owner)
- encumbrances (anything that might hinder the owner’s right of ownership; e.g., errors or omissions in deeds)
- undisclosed errors, fraud, forgery, mistakes in examining records
These deficits can result in additional costs in the future or even invalidate a home buyer’s right of ownership in the property. They might also invalidate the lender’s security interest in the policy. Title insurance policies cover the insured party for any covered losses and legal fees that might arise out of such problems.
Title insurance agents/companies search public records to develop and document the chain of ownership of a property. If any liens or encumbrances are found, the title company might require a home buyer to eliminate them before issuing a title policy. Title insurance agents might also hold money in escrow and perform closing services for an additional fee.
Title insurance policies are indemnity policies that typically protect against losses arising from events that occur before the date of the policy, which is the date of closing. This is different from other types of insurance policies, such as auto or life insurance, which protect against losses resulting from accidents or events that occur after the policy is issued. A title policy is usually paid for with a one-time premium that is handled at the closing of the real estate transaction.
Lenders: If a mortgage is obtained in order to purchase property, nearly all lenders require that a home buyer purchase the lender’s title insurance policy for an amount equal to the loan. A lender’s policy is issued to a mortgage lender. The policy gives the lender protection from covered losses arising from any defects in the title that have become known only after the insured property has been financed. The lender’s insurance policy will remains in effect until the amount financed has been repaid or the property is resold or refinanced.
Owners: Either a home seller or home buyer may buy an owner’s policy. In many areas, sellers pay for owner title policies as part of their obligation in the transfer of title to the home buyer. The question of who pays for the owner’s policy can be negotiated as part of a purchase agreement.
An owner’s policy is issued to a home buyer. It protects the buyer from covered losses arising from any unknown defects in the title that existed before the purchase which become known only after ownership of the property is acquired. Your owner’s policy remains in effect as long as you own or maintain an ownership interest in the insured property.
Conflicts of interest can occur if the entities making the decision have a financial interest in a title agency/title company. Section 8 and Section 9 of the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) are as follows:
Section 8: kickbacks, fee-splitting, unearned fees: Section 8 of RESPA prohibits anyone from giving or accepting a fee, kickback or anything of value in exchange for referrals of settlement service business involving a federally related mortgage loan. In addition, RESPA prohibits fee splitting and receiving unearned fees for services not actually performed.
Section 9: Seller required title insurance: Section 9 of RESPA prohibits a seller from requiring the home buyer to use a particular title insurance company, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale. Buyers may sue a seller who violates this provision for an amount equal to three times all charges made for the title insurance.
In a sale Sellers AND Buyers always have the right to choose which title insurance provider is used in a transaction. Sellers and buyers often will rely on their Realtor or Lender who are parties to the home buying transaction make that decision. It is a gross violation of federal law, as stated above, to require a homeowner to use a particular title insurer. A Seller and Buyer should be made aware of any affiliated business relationship between a Realtor and a particular Title Company or Agent being referred.
Section 9 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) allows for Buyers in a transaction to choose their own title insurer, which does not have to be the same title insurer that the Seller uses. The Seller can only dictate the buyers title insurer if they are paying the entire cost of the insurance. Sellers cannot require a buyer to use a particular insurer, either directly or indirectly, as a condition of sale.
When the Buyer chooses a title insurer independent of that of the Seller it is called a “split” transaction and contrary to the understanding of many it is at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to the Buyer. In many states and most of Wisconsin and Minnesota “split” closing are common and encouraged for the best independent representation possible.
- Although a title insurance company will most likely be offered to you during the mortgage transaction process, you are not obligatedto use it. The seller and buyer can each chose their own title agent/company to represent them.
- Be sure to ask what services and fees are included in the title insurance premium and any fees (e.g., premium, document preparation, closing services, etc.) that may be billed to you separately.
- A lender policy only covers a lender’s loss. It does not protect a home buyer from losses arising from defects in title. Talking with a local, reputable title agent or real estate attorney not involved in the real estate transaction to find out why it may be in your best interest to purchase an owner’s title insurance policy.
- Make sure to ask about any available policy discounts. Premium discounts are available with proof of prior title also know as “reissue” or “substitution” rates.
- Read all title insurance documents you get at closing, including the fine print. Ask questions if any items are unclear; or if any terms, conditions or amounts are not in line with something you may have been told before closing.
- If you believe that a title/closing agent or title company in a real estate closing/settlement transaction is not following standard business practices (e.g., unexpected or undocumented fees, or requesting that you sign documents relating to the real estate or closing transaction that are not accurate), immediately report this to the proper governing agency.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau page www.consumerfinance.gov is a good source for additional information about mortgages, real estate and title insurance rules and regulations designed to protect the consumer.
I recently sold a duplex for my father without a realtor. When I researched title companies I found most charged a lot of different fees. I chose Town n' Country Title because they were extremely knowledgeable, very responsive to my first request, plus they didn't charge seller closing or deed prep fees, making them significantly less expensive. They used a prior abstract to reduce the cost further, and when it came time for the actual closing, they were on-time and made the process incredibly smooth. I am now using them for another property that I just sold through a realtor.
Troy Burke, For Sale By Owner, Janesville, WI
I have worked with Town n' Country Title in Green Bay for many years. They have a fantastic team and are very dedicated to helping me & my clients. Chris Charles is fantastic. He is the best closer around. He is so helpful and accommodating. I recommend their services whenever I possibly can.
Lori Wotruba, Finance of America, Green Bay, WI
Town n' Country Title is filled with staff who are professional, helpful and who are constantly going above and beyond. They work hard to take care of their clients and make sure each transaction goes as smooth as possible. They are an incredible resource and offer a welcoming environment to ask any questions. What has impressed me most about Town n' Country Title is their dedication not only to their clients, but the entire real estate industry and our community. If you're looking for the best service and knowledgeable staff contact Town n' Country Title!
Jessica Himmer, Re/Max, La Crosse, WI
The most customer service friendly company I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. Friendly, efficient and a “get it done” attitude. I highly recommend Town n’ Country Title!
Jeff Zuelke, Zuelke Real Estate Team, Janesville, WI
I have been working with Town n’ Country Title for the past couple of years. They are my preferred title company and are always professional, prompt, knowledgeable and fun! I had a particularly ugly deal last year and Maria went BEYOND the extra mile to help my seller close. I truly love working the gang at Town n’ Country!
Tara Henke, Home Town Realty, Campbellsport, WI
...It is service that sets them apart and I have nothing but good things to say about Jim and the Town n' Country Title team. At first I thought the service I was getting was because I was a new customer that they were trying to impress, but that service has continued. I know if I am in a bind I can call and they will do everything they can to help me out. I would recommend Town n' Country Title to anyone.
Steve Poss, Bank of Galesville, Galesville, WI