Financial Dictionary -> Mortgages -> Title

In property and real estate the property title is a legal document that denotes the legal ownership of the property listed. If you own your home your name will be on the title. This not only related to housing property, other property may have a legally documented title of ownership. Depending whether an owner lives in the property a title can denote several circumstances, including occupation, possession or the right to possession and perceived ownership.

Overseen by an attorney the switch of title is a common process during the sale of property. It is uncommon for title forgery to take place. As well as through buying and selling titles can change hands through inheritance or by certain grants.

During most property sales title insurance is a requirement. This insures against the loss of interest due to "legal defects". This is paid by the buyer and mortgage borrower; however title insurance is sometimes paid by the owner to cover the buyer's equity in the property.

There are several different titles that can be signed upon purchasing a home. Sole proprietorship represents a single individual that is unmarried; the full property will belong to them. Joint tenancy names two or more people in the title and is common between couples or husband and wife that want to share ownership and stake in the property. This can have consequences in a divorce proceeding. Usually one title holder can own a higher percentage, such as 60 to 40. This may reflect the amount of money each title holder put in to the property. Whereas this can be between any couple or group of people, community property title is only for married couples. This gives both parties equal rights and possession. Neither party can own any more than the other party, and upon death the deceased's half goes to the living title holder.