Understanding Statements of Information
What is a Statement of Information?
A Statement of Information is routinely requested from the buyer, seller, and borrower in a transaction where title insurance is sought. The completed form provides the title company with information needed to evaluate documents so they may eliminate items which do not affect the property to be insured.
What does a Statement of Information do?
Every day, documents affecting real property—bankruptcies, liens, court decrees, etc—are recorded. When a title company finds a recording in which the name is the same or similar to that of the buyer, seller, or borrower in a title transaction, the title company must ask, “Does this document affect the parties we are insuring?” If it does, it affects title to the property and would be listed as an exemption from coverage.
A properly completed Statement of Information helps the title company to differentiate between parties with the same or similar names when searching documents. This protects all parties involved and allows the title company to competently carry out its duties without unnecessary delay.
What Types of Information are requested in a Statement of Information?
The information requested is personal in nature, but only necessary information is needed. The information requested is essential to avoid delays in closing the transaction.
The parties involved in the transaction (and spouses or registered domestic partners) will be asked to provide full name, social security number, year of birth, birthplace, and information on citizenship. The date and place of marriage or registered domestic partnership, if applicable, will also be requested.
Residence and employment information will also be requested, as will information regarding previous marriages or registered domestic partnerships.
Will the information be kept confidential?
The information supplied is completely confidential and is only for the use of title company use while completing the search of records before a policy of title insurance can be issued.
What happens if a buyer, seller, or borrower fails to provide the requested Statement of Information?
Sellers are required to provide the Statement of Information to their Escrow Holder within 7 days of acceptance of the contract, per the California Association of Realtors. Without a Statement of Information, the title company must list as exceptions from coverage judgments, liens, or other matters which may affect the property to be insured. Such exceptions are unacceptable to most lenders – whose interest must also be insured, and will prohibit the close of escrow.
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