Title Insurance Company in Pennsylvania

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How Does Title Insurance Work in PA?

As a PA title insurance company that serves lenders and homebuyers all over the country, World Wide Land Transfer has an office in Pennsylvania to better serve our clients in the Keystone State. We have been issuing PA Title Insurance through our PA Title Company since 2004, so you know we have the experience to make your transaction go smoothly across all communities from Northampton, PA, to Newtown, PA, and all the way west to Erie, PA.

We are proud to continue the tradition of title insurance companies in Pennsylvania, a tradition that goes back to the very first title insurance company. That’s right; the first title insurance company in the country, the Law Property Assurance, and Trust Society was formed in Pennsylvania in 1853. As such, we are deeply honored to be a trusted title insurance company operating in PA, the state in which our industry got its start.

PA Title Insurance has many intricacies that set it apart from other states in the country. Due to the complexity of the PA Title Insurance practice, many companies specialize in only certain townships or counties of our commonwealth. For example, some title insurance companies may choose to operate only in Montgomery County, PA, or Delaware County, PA. Other title insurance companies may only operate in specific municipalities like Warren, PA, or Blue Bell, PA. With 67 counties encompassing 1,546 townships and all of them having different lien customs, tax collectors, and certifications, PA title insurance can get quite complex for those that do not know where to turn. Below is a list of the common nuances that are involved in underwriting PA title insurance.

Attorney Involvement

An attorney is not required to be involved in the title insurance business in all Keystone State communities, including Media, PA, and Ft Washington, PA. APA Title company may prepare all documents to be insured; however, customarily attorneys may explain the ins and outs of particular PA title insurance settlement documents.

Cancellation/Commitment Fee

Yes, section 3.1 of the Pennsylvania Title Insurance Rate Manual provides that a minimum charge of $100.00 must be made for the cancellation of commercial title insurance and other types of title policies.

Certificate of Release (of Mortgage)

If anyone other than the lender (such as a title agent, settlement agent, underwriter, or attorney) has the authority to release the security instrument, please describe.

Under the “Mortgage Satisfaction Act” (Act 197 of 2002 – effective 2/7/03) a Settlement Officer who is a licensed title agent, an employee of an underwriter, or a Pennsylvania licensed attorney who conducted closing or directly supervised closing through which Mortgage was paid off may satisfy this requirement.

Deeds

Special Warranty Deeds are customary. Quit Claim Deeds are generally not insurable, hence an owner via a quit claim deed may have difficulty obtaining PA Title Insurance. Underwriters often suggest that a “Warrantless, Conveyance Deed” be used instead of a Quit Claim Deed.

Joinder of Spouses

PA is an equitable distribution state, which gives marital rights in the property to non-title spouses in the event of a pending divorce. Non-titled spouses are required to join in the execution of a Deed or Mortgage if there is a pending divorce. If a home is being sold and the buyer is seeking PA Title Insurance, the PA title company will require a non-titled spouse to sign off on the deed if there is a pending divorce. The conservative and more diligent approach when issuing PA Title Insurance is to have the non-titled spouse sign off on the deed whenever a primary residence is being sold.

Mortgage Tax

None.

Payment Customs

Who pays for the purchase of PA title insurance, transfer tax, etc.?

  • Owner’s Policy – The purchaser pays for the title insurance policy.
  • Transfer Tax & Recording Fee – Transfer tax costs are split evenly between the parties involved. Recording fees are split as follows: purchaser for deed; seller for releases/satisfactions.
  • Survey Charges – the purchaser is responsible for these charges.
  • Closing/Settlement Fees – the purchaser is responsible for these fees while the seller is responsible for municipal certificates.

Policy Countersignatures

Policies must be signed by a licensed, bonded PA title insurance agent or an officer of the underwriter.

Real Estate Taxes

1 – Tax Year – Local: Calendar; County: Calendar; School: Fiscal (July 1 through June 30) except for school districts of the first class, which are calendar year. However, the major issue is that with over 1,400 different tax collectors at the district level it gets very complicated to get tax certifications in certain areas of Pennsylvania.

2 – Due Dates – County and Local taxes or Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton City taxes–By April 31 of the taxing year; October 31 of the taxing year for School Districts other than Philadelphia, after which time the taxes are considered delinquent and an automatic lien dating as the first day of the taxing year. Philadelphia property taxes are due February 28th for the discount period.

3 – Lien Date: If not paid, taxes become a lien against the property as of the first day of the taxing year.

4 – Lien Duration: Once filed, the lien endures until paid or 20 years from the date of filing the claim, if not revived within that time for an additional 20-year period.

Search and Examination Fees

PA title insurance by law is considered an all-inclusive state. However, Section 2.3 of the Pennsylvania Title Insurance Rate Manual allows a separate search and/or examination fee “in especially difficult title matters.” Those matters would include “multiple chains of title, land under water, coal, oil, gas or mineral searches, railroad property searches, land in beds of streets, rights-of-way, driveways, foreclosures, tax sales, proceedings under federal bankruptcy or state insolvency related statutes, or … other unusual difficulties or unusual expenditures.”

Search Requirements

No state law imposes a minimum period nor does the state have any marketable title acts; however, the standard search period for a purchase transaction where there is no back title evidence is 60 years.

Security Instruments (Deed of Trust vs. Mortgage)

In Pennsylvania, a security instrument is called a “Mortgage.”

Title Insurance Policy Used

PA Title Insurance policies are a modified version of the 2006 ALTA policies; PA has omitted survey coverage from the policy and requires such coverage to be purchased by endorsement.

PA Title Insurance Form and Filing Regulations

All forms, and all rates, up to 30 million dollars are handled through the PA Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Pennsylvania.

Transfer Taxes

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania always charges a state Transfer Tax which is set at 1% of the sales price. In addition, there is a Local Transfer Tax which varies from 1% to 4% of the sales price based on the location. For instance, Philadelphia imposes a rate of 4% while certain towns have a transfer tax of up to 3%. Rates may vary in other areas like Lancaster, PA, Dresher Township, PA, and Milford, PA. When in doubt, be sure to use our smart GFE title insurance rate calculator.

PA Common Level Ratio Information Through 2023 Info Link Here

Usury

Usury coverage is not available while issuing PA Title Insurance.

Witness

There are no witness requirements for either deeds or mortgages in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Contact Us Today

We Offer Title Insurance for Owners & Lenders in Philadelphia

World Wide Land Transfer has been one of the most trusted title insurance companies authorized to operate in PA since 2005 and we are happy to serve clients all over the state. If you are a home buyer or a lender involved in a real estate transaction in communities like Philadelphia, PA, Allentown, PA, or Lancaster, PA, we can help you obtain title insurance to fulfill your legal obligations or protect your investment. Lenders are required to have a title insurance policy in any real estate transaction in which a mortgage is involved. World Wide Land Transfer can provide lender’s title insurance and other services for lenders. Title insurance for homeowners is not required in PA communities like West Chester, PA, Doylestown, PA, and Wellsboro, PA, but it is highly recommended. When you talk to an owner’s title insurance company and purchase title insurance, you can protect the investment you have made in your home. A title defect could cost you a lot of money or even call your ownership of the property into question, so getting a title insurance quote is a good idea even though you are not legally required to do so. Don’t let title defects surprise you; call us for title insurance quotes today and gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are protected.

We can provide a title insurance premium quote for any of the following communities and more:

  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Harrisburg, PA
  • Bucks County, PA
  • West Chester, PA
  • Lehigh Valley, PA
  • And more

If you live in any of these areas, including Milford, PA, and Plymouth Meeting, PA, get in touch with us for title insurance rates or to inquire about everything else we can do for you, like escrow services.

How Are Title Insurance Rates Calculated in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, title insurance rates are calculated based on several factors and are regulated by the PA Department of Insurance. Title insurance rates for real estate transactions include the expenses associated with the title search and examination, escrow services, settlement costs, and other factors. The geographic area in which the property is located can also affect rates; for example, the rates for Ambler, PA may be different from those in Wilkes Barre, PA. It is also important to note that the cost of title insurance for lenders is different than the cost for homeowners. While we can’t give you an accurate quote for title insurance online, our GFE rate calculator can give you a good idea of the associated costs.

Unlike other types of insurance for homeowners, your title insurance premium is paid one time typically as part of your real estate closing costs and covers you as long as you or your heirs own the property. As a homeowner, you are not required to work with title insurance companies, but it is a good idea if you want to protect your investment. If you are taking out mortgage financing you will be required by the lender to work with a title insurance agency, but they usually pass these costs along to the buyer. If you have questions about title insurance, title insurance endorsements, or any other topic related to cheap PA and NJ title insurance, please get in touch with our team as soon as possible.

Contact Us Today to Get a Title Insurance Quote!

If you are looking for a title insurance company in Pennsylvania communities like East Stroudsburg, PA, and McKeesport, PA, World Wide Land Transfer should be the first name on your list. As a 3rd party independent title insurance company, you know you can trust that our recommendations won’t be sullied by any conflicts of interest. You will also get a level of personalized customer service that you won’t find with other home title insurance companies in Bucks County, PA, Philadelphia, PA, or the Harrisburg, PA area. Whether you are searching for commercial real estate title insurance, land title insurance, or title insurance endorsements, or you want to find answers about enhanced title insurance online, World Wide Land Transfer can be a great resource for you.

In addition to serving Keystone State communities like West Chester, PA, and Doylestown, PA we are also a land title insurance company all over the country. Trust our team for assistance with title insurance services in Maryland or anywhere else nearby. We can even be your title insurance company in Colorado!

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