What do I need to bring to settlement?

You will need to bring a valid government-issued picture ID such as a driver’s license, passport or military ID. If you are required to bring money to settlement, these funds will need to be in the form of a certified check or a bank check made payable to “Presidential Title, Inc” Clients may also wire funds into Presidential Title, Inc.’s escrow account. Please contact Presidential Title, Inc. for more information.

Note: You may be required to bring additional documents to settlement; however, our office will inform of such a need well in advance.


How long will settlement take?

The time can vary greatly, depending on any number of variables. A typical refinance will take roughly 45 minutes while a purchase settlement is likely to run approximately 1–1 ½ hours.


How far in advance should I contact Presidential Title to handle my settlement?

When going to settlement on the purchase or sale of a home, you should contact Presidential Title, Inc. as soon as you are in possession of a signed contract. This will allow us adequate time to obtain a title search on the property and clear any outstanding defects on title prior to your contracted settlement date.

For a refinance, you should contact us after you submit your loan application, and should not wait for final approval. By scheduling early, you will give us sufficient time to conduct the title search and resolve any issues with your title, obtain payoffs and coordinate closing with your new lender.


Who attends settlement?

For a purchase, usually the sellers, purchasers and their real estate representatives will attend, along with Presidential Title, Inc.’s settlement officer.

When it’s a refinance, only the borrowers and our settlement officer are typically present.


What if I cannot attend settlement?

In some instances, you can arrange for a “power-of-attorney,” which is a legal instrument which allows another to sign legal documents on your behalf. Please let us know as soon as possible if you will be unable to attend so that we can have the lender approve the power-of-attorney as to both form and content.


Who does Presidential Title, Inc. represent at settlement?

In a purchase transaction, we actually represent the contract. The title company does not negotiate the terms of the transaction; instead it facilitates the execution of the terms of the transaction. We do not act on behalf of, advise, or in any way represent the buyer or the seller.

When transacting a refinance, we are there to follow your lender’s instructions, explain the documents to you and verify that they are properly executed.


How should I hold title to my new property?

Title to property is typically held in one of three ways. Each has a specific legal significance and impacts an owner’s ability to freely transfer title to property. The following is a brief description of the three options for taking title to property:

Tenancy in Common is a type of concurrent estate in which each co-tenant owns a distinct, separate and undivided interest in the subject property. Each co-tenant’s interest is freely transferable, assignable and devisable, subject to the claims of that particular tenant’s individual creditors. Although each co-tenant owns a distinct interest in the subject property, all co-tenants are entitled to possession of the entire property. Tenants in common may acquire their interests at different times and by different instruments.

Joint Tenancy is a form of co-ownership in which each tenant owns an undivided interest in the entire property. Its distinguishing feature is the right of survivorship, which means that upon the death of one joint tenant, the surviving tenant or tenants continue to own the entire property without any interest in the property passing to the heirs of the decedent.

In order to create a joint tenancy, all co-owners must share the four unities of:

  • Time - the co-owners must acquire the property at the same time.
  • Title - the co-owners must have the same title to the property. If a condition applies to one owner and not another, there is no unity of title.
  • Interest - the co-owners must have the same interest in the property.
  • Possession - the co-owners must have an equal right to possess the whole property.

If any of these elements is missing, the joint tenancy is ineffective and title to property will be vested in the co-owners as tenants in common.

Tenancy by the Entirety is another form of co-ownership similar to a joint tenancy, but with three significant differences. First, five unities” have to be present; The “five unities” are comprised of the “four unities” required to take title as joint tenants and the unity of “husband and wife.” This fifth unity t needs to exist in order to take title as tenants by the entirety. Second, neither the husband nor the wife can sever his or her ownership interest in the property without the consent of the other. In other words, an attempted conveyance to a third party by one spouse alone will not eliminate the right of survivorship, as such a conveyance would be considered invalid. Accordingly, one spouse cannot sell or mortgage any part of the property without the consent of the other spouse. Finally, the ownership interest of one tenant by the entirety cannot be reached by the other spouse’s individual creditors. The only way to terminate the co-ownership interest of tenants by the entirety is by the death of spouse, divorce or mutual agreement.


What is title insurance?

Title insurance provides the insured with protection from financial loss attributed to certain undiscoverable title hazards or discoverable defects in title that predate the issuance of the policy. These are defects that were not initially disclosed or are considered undiscoverable despite a diligent search of the public records. Notwithstanding the expertise and dedication that go into a title search and examination, hidden hazards often arise after settlement, which adversely affect one’s legal right to real property. Title insurance protects the insured from incurring the exorbitant costs associated with defending oneself from lawsuits that question the validity of one’s title to the subject property.

Here are some of the potential risks covered r by an title insurance policy that an insured would be protected from:

  • Fraudulent representations
  • Undisclosed or missing heirs
  • Invalid divorces
  • False affidavits
  • Liens involving judgments and mechanics
  • Unpaid taxes
  • Mistakes in recordings and title searches
  • Defective foreclosures or tax sales
  • Deeds executed under a defective power of attorney
  • Clerical errors in the land records

There are two different types of title insurance, lenders and owner’s. For more information regarding each type of policy please do not hesitate to contact Presidential Title, Inc..


Who does a loan policy of title insurance protect?

Such a policy protects the lender and is invariably a condition to the issuance of any loan secured by real property. Lender’s policies usually offer lenders more comprehensive coverage than owner’s policies since title insurance provides the secured lending industry with the necessary assurances to issue loans.

The lender’s title insurance premium is a one-time charge that varies depending on the location of the property. It is traditionally paid by the borrower at settlement.


Why should I get an owner’s policy of title insurance?

An owner's policy of title insurance assures a purchaser that title to the property is correctly vested in the purchaser and that the title is free from title defects not otherwise excluded from coverage under the policy. An owner’s policy customarily covers losses or damages incurred by an owner due to the unmarketablity of title up to the amount of the purchase price of the property.

The premium for such a policy is traditionally paid by the purchaser in a purchase transaction. The purchaser and seller, however, can otherwise modify this practice per the terms of the purchase/sale agreement. Owner’s policy coverage lasts as long as the insured retains an interest in the insured property. Accordingly, title insurance coverage terminates upon a subsequent transfer of title.


What is a refinance loan transaction?

Simply stated, refinancing refers to the replacement of an existing debt obligation with a new debt obligation bearing different terms. There are a myriad of reasons why a borrower chooses to refinance, but it is typically done to reduce interest payments, to extend the maturity date of a loan, to consolidate debt, to reduce a borrower’s overall monthly payment, to cash out equity or simply to convert an adjustable interest rate into a fixed interest rate.

Refinance transactions are settled much in the same manner as purchase transactions, but are considerably less time consuming, exhausting and expensive.

A borrower that purchased an owner’s title insurance policy when he or she originally acquired the subject property may be entitled to a re-issue rate on the new lender’s title insurance policy. He or she therefore should be sure to inquire about applicable re-issue rates.

Our Team

Daniel P. Hodin

Daniel P. Hodin

Founder & President

“Investing in real estate is often the biggest, long-term investment an individual or company will make, there are many considerations in structuring transactions that are advantageous to our clients.”

Alan Mark

Alan Mark

Principal Real Estate Attorney

“Addressing the unique challenges of each business transaction, whether it involves one billion dollars or hundreds of thousands, I focus on my client’s business objectives, identify and evaluate appropriate structuring alternatives and negotiate and implement transaction documents which provide an effective means of achieving those objectives.”

Katherine Palumbo

Katherine Palumbo

Principal Real Estate Attorney

“I believe in being available to clients and responsive to their needs. The three key principals in my practice are attention to detail, communication with the client and other transaction participants, and prompt response and turn around, which my clients know that I will be guided by.”

Contact Presidential Title


Our Address

4800 Hampden Lane, 6th Floor, Bethesda, Maryland 20814