Title and escrow are not required if the buyer is paying for the property without the assistance of a loan (which is really only the case in about 10% of all transactions). If the buyer and seller choose to go without title and escrow, it’s up to them to make sure all legal documents are filed properly, and they bear the risk of any legal issues. For this reason, most individuals still choose to purchase title and escrow, even when there is no loan.
For loans less than 20% of the property value, such as home equity loans, lenders often forgo the title process or request certain non-title insurance products (so-called “lien checks”).
Lenders could choose to go without title and escrow for “balance sheet loans” (loans they do not sell to the secondary market). However, most lenders still require title and escrow services for these loans due to the risks involved.