TITLE SEARCHES ---- ONLINE / OR ATTORNEY ? --- and title INsuRANCE?

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Here is a question regarding TITLE SEARCHES and TITLE INSURANCE

I've been checking out alot of auctions on www.auctions.com

I am wondering, is it safe / smart to do a title search with an online website for 40-60 dollars, versus using a local title company ?

1) Will all the searches show tax liens, mortgage info, etc?
2) what about title insurance ? how is that handled ? how much should it be ?
3) What exactly is the difference between a title search and title insurance ?

A title search checks if there are any problems with the ownership of a property being transferred to you.  It will discover liens and other items that you will want to ensure and taken care of before you get the property. 

You can do it yourself, but a title company will make sure those items are cleared before or at closing.

Title insurance will cover you for any problems that may arise with your ownership of the property after it is transferred to you.

One example of where title insurance helps is fraud.  We had a scenario where we lent money against a property and then someone out of the blue sued us because they were the legitimate owner of the property.  The person that signed the documents was a forger.  Title insurance covered us for that loss.

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