two women performing a title search and exam at south oak title and closing

Title Services

At South Oak, we’re a full-service title and closing company that’s committed to providing you with accurate, timely, and comprehensive title services so that you can close with confidence.

Title Search and Exam

Our title examiners perform a complete and thorough title search and exam of records including mortgages, deeds, tax liens, encroachments, and other possible liens on a property. Our title search also includes a name search and bankruptcy search to identify other potential liens. We can perform both prior owner title searches and a 30-year title search.

The purpose of a title search and exam is to identify any potential issues or threats to your title or ownership rights. A title search must be completed before issuing any form of title insurance.

Title Commitment

A title commitment, also known as a Commitment for Title Insurance, is a document that describes the information that has been discovered in our title search. This title commitment is essentially our promise to issue title insurance once any title issues (requirements) have been resolved. The title commitment will also include any exclusions or exceptions, such as easements and encroachments. We issue a title commitment after every title search and exam.

The title commitment informs both buyers and sellers of any concerns or obligations related to the property. Buyers should carefully examine and review the title commitment exceptions since these can impact the use of the property. Sellers will need to work with the closing company to resolve the requirements on the title commitment.

Title Insurance

Title insurance is insurance to the title itself and protects the owner of the policy from hidden risks associated with the title. These hidden risks can include forgery or fraud, problems with the executing or recording of documents, or liens on the property not discovered in the initial title search and exam.

Title insurance guarantees the title, and we can issue title insurance to both lenders and owners. Lender’s Title Insurance protects the lender for the life of the loan, while Owner’s Title Insurance protects the owner from hidden risks for the entire time they own the home. We also offer Enhanced Owner’s Title Insurance.

Title Rates

Title rates are currently available for our Birmingham metro area locations. Rates apply for financed purchases, cash purchases, and refinances. Rates for our other Alabama and Florida locations are coming soon. South Oak is an agent of Stewart Title and Title Resources Guaranty Company.