Or do they do a deeper search for liens and judgments?
A title insurance company's research is quite extensive. It is not based merely on a credit report.
Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
A title company will do a search of all legal actions, as it is often called, an upper court and lower court search, to determine what liens have been filed against the buyer and the seller, a Patriot Act search to be certain the buyer and/or seller are not on a terrorist watch list, and the attorney representing either buyer or seller needs to know that the seller is not a non-US citizen, subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Acct. In NJ, a search needs to be done to be certain the seller is not behind in child support. Federal and state Income Tax liens are usually of record, besides, the seller must swear or affirm that there are no pending actions or known liens or encumbrances in an Affidavit of Title given to the buyer and his/her/their lender. The buyer does likewise, by signing an Affidavit of Title that is given to the mortgage company/lender.
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There are different types of title searches and title insurance, but each goes much deeper than the information revealed on a typlical credit report. I have never seen a title report that references a credit report or rating - they are interested in the property, not the owner.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.