A preliminary title commitment is a preliminary commitment to issue a title insurance policy after payment of a premium, which occurs at closing. After the close of escrow, the title insurance company issues an owner's policy which is paid for by the seller and benefits the new owner. Records are searched by examining the official courthouse records, where all recorded documents, judgments, liens, tax assessments, special taxes, and other matters, such as divorce and bankruptcy, are filed. The results of this examination are set forth in a preliminary title report or "commitment" to insure the property. The preliminary title commitment is a means for the title company to inform all parties of all known burdens affecting the property and committing to issue its policy when certain requirements have been met. This assurance of a title commitment by a title company provides a safe procedure for purchasers and lenders to close transactions before the actual title policies have been issued.