Affidavits are extensively used in the process of issuing title insurance policies to establish facts and circumstances that affect title, but are not part of the public records. It is through the utilization of affidavits that many of those facts and circumstances can be ascertained and made part of the public records.
Title insurance affidavits can be divided into the following categories:
- Affidavits of identity.
- Affidavits of information.
- Affidavits in relation to mechanic's liens.
- Affidavits prescribed by law (such as the Tennessee "Notice Of Completion").
- Affidavits of heirship.
- Affidavit regarding debts of joint tenants (such as California).
- Affidavit of debts and liens.
- Affidavits relating to many various matters.
The phrasing, wording, and form of these affidavits vary from location to location. Affidavits may be combined with indemnities, conveyancing instruments, and other documents.
It is necessary to emphasize that the primary purpose of an affidavit is to establish the existence of certain facts. A secondary purpose is to provide a method by which these facts may be made part of the public records.
It is extremely important:
- To record any affidavit that contains information essential to the title.
- Not to rely upon affidavits executed by unreliable affiants.
- To avoid affidavits that contain conclusions of law.