Frequently Asked Questions

Doing Business with Us:

Can I work directly with LATC, or do I need a lawyer?
Although it is always recommended to contract with an attorney to safeguard your interests, we can perform the necessary services in your real estate transaction directly for you.

What services do you offer?
For a complete list of services and descriptions, please visit the Our Services section of this website.

Who underwrites the title insurance you offer?
• Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company
• First American Title Insurance Company of New York
• Monroe Title Insurance Corporation

What areas do you serve?
Although we have offices in Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties, we are able to perform services througout New York State.

The Basics:

What is an abstract?
An abstract is a condensed history of all documents that affect title to your property. The abstract contains information such as the current and prior owners of the property and any mortgages against the property. It also tells you if there are any unpaid real estate taxes on the property, or whether or not there are any judgments or liens against current or previous owners.

What is a closing?
A closing is when the purchaser officially becomes the owner of the property in a formal, final meeting. The closing can be simply a property closing or both a mortgage and property closing. The mortgage loan closing (or settlement) is the meeting attended by the purchaser, seller, (and/or their real estate representatives) and a lender representative where the purchaser finalizes the mortgage and takes official ownership of the property.

What is title insurance?
There are two types of title insurance: one that protects the lender and one that protects the owner. Most mortgage lenders require title insurance policy on the full amount of the mortgage.

How much does title insurance cost?
The one-time premium is directly related to the value of your real estate. Normally, it is less expensive than other insurances, like your annual auto insurance, and covers you for the length of time you or your heirs own your property.

How does the owner pay for title insurance?
The owner pays a one-time fee at closing, and the insurance is good for as long as they own the property.

If the lender holds title insurance for the mortgage, why does the owner need a policy too?
The lender's policy covers only the dollar amount of the loan, which is not always the full value of the property.

Why do you need title insurance when applying for a mortgage loan?
The lender needs a separate policy insuring your mortgage when it is made. For as long as you own the property your mortgage is valid, but you’re not insured for the new mortgage created when you refinance. Your initial insurance also doesn't protect against events that happened between the time you purchased the property and when you refinanced. You do benefit with a reduced premium when you purchased title insurance previously within 10 years on the same property with the same owners.

What are a "title" and a "title search"?
The purchaser of property buys the legal right to own and use that property. These legal rights are called title. The title may include rights or liens that were established by the previous property owners. A title search reviews land records of the town/city/village where the property is located. This will identify any of these rights, survey problems, easements, liens (i.e. mortgages, attachments, lis pendens, judgment liens etc.), restrictions or other defects of title. These can then be fixed before the purchaser closes on the property.

What is a survey?
A survey shows boundaries, required setbacks, rights of way, encroachments, easements, and utility services wires (overhead or underground). A survey is needed when there is not an existing certified survey within the past ten years.