FAQs

Q?How does SFL Title benefit non-U.S. persons?
A.

Our extensive experience in facilitating closings for non-US persons coupled with a deep understanding of international tax law makes us qualified international consultants. FIRPTA can introduce various forms of complexity into your real property transaction, but we have the tools to help you get the most out of your sale/purchase.

Q?What makes SFL Title unique?
A.

SFL Title boasts a team of qualified tax and legal experts with degrees in finance, accounting, advanced taxation, law that has earned distinctions such as CPA’s and Masters of Law such as CPA’s, CFP’s and MBA’s. Just as well, SFL Title has close working relationships with various attorneys with advanced degrees in law specializing in real estate that can address even the most sophisticated needs. Last but not least, SFL Title has associated colleagues in taxation and law with extensive experience navigating the complexities of international real estate taxation, real estate transactions and structuring off-shore taxation entities.

Q?What does SFL Title do?
A.

SFL Title acts, in most capacities, as your Title Insurance agency. SFL Title coordinates all of the normal required processes related to your policy from title search to closing.

Q?What items are needed at closing?
A.

The only thing you will need to bring to your closing is a Photo ID. This can be a passport, drivers license or state issued identification card. SFL Title, as your closing agent, will handle the rest.

Q?What is the HUD-1?
A.

The HUD-1 is a standard form issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development that is used by the closing agent to itemize all fees imposed upon a borrower/seller for a real estate transaction. It gives each party a complete list of their incoming and outgoing funds related to that transaction.

Q?What occurs in closing?
A.

You will meet with a closing agent with whom you will review a series of documents that have been prepared by your lender and provided to the closing agent the day of or before your closing. Many of the documents are non-binding notices and disclosures, which can be quickly reviewed and signed. But a few are key and legally binding. SFL Title will present these documents at the beginning of the process for your careful review.
Here is a list of these documents:

  1. HUD-1 Settlement Statement
  2. Note
  3. Deed
  4. Sales/Broker Commission
  5. Items Payable in Connection with Loan/Fees/Points, Reports, etc.
  6. Reserves deposited with Lender/Escrows
  7. Title Fees & Costs
  8. Government Recording and Transfer Charges
Q?Can SFL Title handle the Closing?
A.

Yes. We serve you in every step of the entire closing process. Click here to learn more about the closing process

Q?Why do I need title insurance when purchasing a brand new home?
A.

There are scenarios in which you are not the first owner of a piece of real property, but you are the first owner to build a house on said property. In this situation, people often wonder why they need Title Insurance, because there has never previously been a house on the property. The answer is that while, yes, there has never been a house on the property, you still need title insurance to cover the possibility of defect in title due to the previous owners of that property. The need to clear title applies to all forms of real property, including vacant land.

Q?Why does every lender require their own individual Lender’s Policy?
A.

Lender’s title insurance policies insure the lender’s interest in the property up to the face amount of their loan. The policy is only applicable to the specific transaction, and it provides coverage for the mortgage lien and it protects against errors made in the title search connected with that transaction, as well as any pre-existing clouds on title. Therefore, each new lender will want a lender’s policy that is specific to their transaction.

Q?Do I need a new Owner’s Policy when I refinance?
A.

No. A new owner’s policy is not required when refinancing. If a new appraisal is performed and the property is worth more than it was when the owner’s policy was issued, your current owner’s policy can be updated. The new owner’s policy can be issued for the current fair market value of the property and you only pay the difference in premium costs for the increase in coverage from the purchase price of the original owner’s policy.

Q?Why do I need title insurance to refinance my home?
A.

Title insurance on a refinanced mortgage is usually offered at a reduced, promulgated rate by Florida Statute, and it assures your lender that you actually own the property. It ensures that no one else has a preemptive position in front of the lender, and if someone does, it pays for the lender’s losses.

Q?Why get Title Insurance if my lender already has it?
A.

A lender’s policy only covers the amount of the loan, which is generally not the full amount of the property. There are two types of policies available related to title insurance. A Lender’s policy “ensures that the financial institution has a valid, enforceable lien on the property”. Most lenders require this type of insurance and require the borrower to pay for it. An Owner’s policy is designed to protect you from title defects that existed previous to the issue date of your policy. Where a Lender’s policy covers any lending institution from financial losses, your Owner’s policy protects you much in the same way.

Q?When is title insurance purchased?
A.

Title insurance is bound and in place immediately upon execution of the closing documents and transfer of real title. There are no monthly or annual premiums to maintain your coverage. With one easy payment at the time of closing, your policy will cover your real property purchase for as long as you own it.

Q?Are there different types of Title Insurance?
A.

Lender’s Policy: A Lender’s Policy specifically covers the lender for the amount of the loan they are making to a borrower. Coverage will consist of the ALTA 2006 Lender’s Policy standard. This plan provides coverage to the Lender against such title encumbrances as fraud in connection with the execution of document, incorrect representation of the marital status of grantors, wills not properly probated, and many other circumstances that might jeopardize the Lender’s security in the property. 

Owner’s Policy: The standard ALTA 2006 Owner’s Policy protects you as the owner of real property against fraudulently executed documents, incorrect representations and improperly probated wills as well as any unsatisfied claims that may not appear in the County land records.

Q?Am I required to have title insurance?
A.

Most lenders will require that you purchase a lender’s title insurance policy. This protects their investment in your property. You are not required to purchase an owner’s policy; however, your one-time payment will protect your property for as long as you own it.

Q?Why should I purchase title insurance?
A.

There are so many ways that a purchaser of a home can be subject to unexpected fees that title insurance is always justified. At times, the issue can be as fundamental as the inability of local and state institutions in tracking the history of your title.  With a one-time payment for your policy, you can cover yourself against the multitude of possible flaws in your title.

Q?What is Title Insurance?
A.

Title insurance is an agreement that protects home-buyers and refinancing homeowners against financial losses and defects in title. Additionally, title insurance agencies lead the processing and management of the transference of the title in question. SFL Title, on behalf of the title insurance company, becomes the central hub for managing everything related to the title transaction, from performing a title search to collecting and managing documents to closing on the transaction itself.

Q?What can make a title defective?
A.
  • Fraud and Forgery
  • Improper processing of documents
  • Errors in recording descriptions of property
  • Forged Deeds
  • Unreleased mortgages
  • Incorrect interpretation of a will
  • Unknown heirs
  • False affidavits
  • Unpaid judgments
  • Unfiled and unpaid liens
Q?What is a “title”?
A.

When you purchase real property, you are actually purchasing rights and interests in a parcel of real estate. The term “title” refers to your legal claim to the property. These rights and interests, often, are not as clear as they may seem, because there are a variety of factors that can affect the seller’s title. Thus, when purchasing a piece of property, it’s essential that you verify that the seller does in fact have the legal right to sell the property. This process is called “clearing title”.