Pittsburgh Title Insurance Agency
Matrix Property Settlements is a fully insured Title Insurance Agency offering Title Insurance to clients in the Pittsburgh area, through two major title companies.
As an independent Pittsburgh title insurance agency, our focus is to ensure that you have a clear and clean title before purchasing your next property. We accomplish this by handling all facets of the title insurance process in-house.
Our title services include everything from the Title Searches conducted by our own title searchers, to Title Search Reviews done by our expert real estate attorney, to issuing the Title Policy directly to you the client.
What is Title?
In real estate, Title means the ownership of the land. Specifically, it refers to the owner’s bundle of legal rights to the land (the rights of possession, control, enjoyment, etc.). Title also means the evidence of that ownership, but it is not an actual physical printed document as many people believe. The written document by which an owner of real estate conveys the owner’s title in a parcel of real estate to another owner is called a “deed”. The statute of frauds requires all deeds to be in writing.
Transferring the title from one owner to another is the heart of the real estate transaction. Each transfer creates a link is what is called the “chain of title”, which is the record of a property’s ownership over time. If there are any gaps in the chain, it creates a cloud over the title.
A title search is a search through all public records to determine whether there are any defects or clouds on the title.
For example, there may be liens on the property. Timber rights may have been sold 50 years ago to a lumber company and the trees belong to them. You don’t want to discover that fact by looking out your window one morning and seeing a lumber crew cutting down all “your” trees!
Who owns the mineral rights? Who owns the gas and oil rights? The property might be tied up in a lawsuit or divorce proceedings, or there may be an old lien on the property.
All kinds of things can happen to a title over time!
Title Insurance is the Best Proof of Title
The best proof of title ownership isn’t the actual deed to a piece of property, but a solid title insurance policy issued through a reputable title insurance company.
Title insurance will protect you and your family from losses that arise from defects in the title.
A title insurance company will review the public records and determine whether the title is insurable. If so, a policy is issued. Unlike regular insurance policies that protect you against a possible event in the future, title insurance protects you from an event that may have occurred in the past.
The title insurance company will defend any lawsuit based on an insurable defect. Standard coverage normally insures the title as it is known from the public records, as well as hidden defects such as forged documents, incorrect marital status, name errors, or improperly delivered deeds. Extended coverage protects against defects that may be discovered by a property inspection, examination of a survey, and some types of unrecorded liens.
Title insurance questions? For questions about title insurance, please call Blane M. Puskaric, Esq. 412-664-8000 ext. 109.