My spouse believes we need to protect our home with a title lock. I disagree but agreed to check around. We have title insurance, so do we really need a title lock?
Title Lock or Title Insurance?
Dear Title Lock or Title Insurance,
This is a complicated but important question that impacts every homeowner. I will sort out the difference between a Title Lock and Title Insurance then give my advice.
There are two types of title insurance: Lender’s and Owner’s.
Both forms of title insurance are worth the one-time cost which varies based on the price of the home. Bankrate.com offers several ways to save when purchasing title insurance.
There are TV ads and people claiming that Title Lock will protect against title fraud. This occurs when someone forges your name on a deed and files it with the county courthouse. Using the house as collateral, he/she is then able to borrow money against it. Although rare, it is a growing crime. Title Lock is not insurance; it is simply a monitoring service that periodically checks to see if your title has been transferred out of your name. Notification comes after it happens and does not solve the problem. See this brief explanation at Fox5Atlanta.com.
Title insurance is what protects you. The title company must fix the problem and cover any costs involved. The elderly, or those who do not understand their rights, are frequently targeted. The crime is most successfully committed against those who fully own their home and are clear of any debt on it. Should a scammer illegally claim ownership to a home, he would have to prove the validity of the signature of the deed. Punishment for the crime of forgery in the first degree is imprisonment.
In most counties, you can access county property records online and do the checking yourself. So paying for Title Lock is an unnecessary expense. Companies that offer Title Lock services benefit from fears they create.
Some other ways to protect yourself from title fraud:
If you believe that you are a victim of identity fraud, immediately seek help. Experian offers tips.
My wife and I have purchased title insurance on every home we have ever owned and suggest that you do the same, but I find no reason to purchase the services of Title Lock.
The Crown Stewardship Podcast is a valuable resource to help guide you in the many facets of God’s financial principles. You can subscribe for alerts of new episodes. I hope you find it beneficial!
This article originally published on The Christian Post on June 3, 2022.
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