Welcome to Crystal Title & Escrow Company, Co., Inc.


Before you go into a closing, it's critical to know that your title to the property will be free and clear. This means that, after the closing, it will be free of prior indebtedness or other defects or encumbrances. It is then what is called a "marketable title."

Normally at the closing the seller gives the buyer a deed, which transfers the title to you and warrants your title against claims of other persons. However, you should not accept a deed without having an experienced individual conduct a thorough title examination of the property.

This involves researching public records for previous owners of record, prior deeds, mortgages, court judgments, probate proceedings and divorces, foreclosures, tax and construction liens, and other matters that could affect title in other words, the legal history of the property. In some cases, this process will uncover title defects that could jeopardize a buyer's ability to take clear title.

If research reveals title defects, the seller may be asked to undertake legal proceedings to clear the defects.

There are also hidden defects, which may not surface even in the course of a thorough title examination. One of these could put your ownership in question, even after you've closed. Some examples of defects, both obvious and hidden, include:

Lost or forged deeds

A married signer who represents himself/herself as single

Claims of undisclosed heirs Impersonation of another

Clerical error at the courthouse when earlier documents were recorded

Incorrect legal description Instruments signed by minors or mentally incompetent persons

Title taken as a result of an improperly probated Will

Confusion of title resulting from similar names

The point of title insurance is to secure your claim to property and protect you from a hidden defect. If you're forced to defend your title in court, the insurer agrees to pay the costs.

Your lender will insist on title insurance in the amount of the mortgage loan, but a lender's policy or mortgagee policy doesn't protect your ownership interest. You need an owner's policy for that.

The owner's title insurance policy is an agreement that the insurer will pay all losses involved in any claim covered by the policy terms. The policy provides two types of coverage: 1) If someone contests your insured title in a legal action, the insurer will defend the title at no expense to you; 2) If there is a defect in your title which cannot be eliminated, title insurance protects you from financial loss. That is, you'll be reimbursed up to the amount of the policy generally, the full amount of your loss.

You pay a modest, one time premium for title insurance, and the protection continues in effect forever, even after you sell your home. The policy is issued in an amount equal to the purchase price of the property or its market value.


Thomas F. Carney, Jr., Esq.

Tom has over 35 years of experience concentrating in corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, real estate and land use/zoning law. Tom's client base is comprised of institutional mortgage lenders, banks, family owned businesses, and individual investors and developers. He has represented a variety of corporate clients in the sales or mergers of their businesses, assists in structuring mezzanine and other long-term financing for businesses, structuring the various private placement of debt and/or equity disclosure documentation, and structuring trust and other asset protection and estate planning instruments. Tom is a former Mayor of Delray Beach, Florida, and is the former Vice-Chairman of the Community Redevelopment Agency in Delray Beach, Florida, and Chairman of the Delray Beach Housing Authority. Tom earned his B.S. (Political Science) at Spring Hill College, his J.D. at Boston College Law School.

Peter H. Carney, Esq.

Pete has over 20 years of experience concentrating in real estate transactional law. Prior to his moving back to his native South Florida, Pete was Deputy Counsel and Director of Financial Administration for the Massachusetts State Treasurer. Since 1993, Pete, along his brother Tom, founded Crystal Title & Escrow Co. In 2006, Pete was appointed by the Governor of Florida to serve as Tax Collector of Palm Beach County. After serving out his term, Pete returned to Crystal Title & Escrow Co. to continue his land use and transactional legal practice. Pete earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Princeton University and J.D. from Boston College Law School. He also holds a Masters of Law in Banking from Boston University and is licensed as Registered Representative (Series 7) and Investment Advisor (Series 65).


Main Office

135 SE 5th Avenue, Suite 202,Delray Beach,FL 33483
Phone: 561-330-2480 | Fax: 888-692-8440