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How to Turn a $40,000 Claim into a $2,000,000 claim

A big title insurer has once again shot itself in the foot by its blatantly inept handling of a rather straightforward $40,000 claim. As a result of a finding of bad faith leading to punitive damages, it must now pay a court judgment of over $2 million dollars—an award that was recently upheld by a Pennsylvania appeals court.

MBA Weekly Report: Mortgage Application Volume Increases
Mortgage applications increased 9.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 20, 2015.
Lander County, Nevada Begins eRecording
Lander County, Nevada is now accepting e-recorded documents, according to e-recording service provider Simplifile.
RedVision Announces New National Strategic Sales Director
Title data, search, and examination provider RedVision has announced the appointment of Jeffrey Geisinger to serve as national strategic sales director.
ALTA Urges Members to Remain Focused on Setting Expectations Prior to TRID Implementation on Aug. 1
The American Land Title Association has issued a statement on the industry's efforts to implement the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new Closing Disclosures and Loan Estimate forms.

Punctual Abstract
AccuSearch Company
Speaking Up About Short Title Searches May Be Bad for Your Career
A recently settled whistleblower lawsuit involving allegations of fraudulently substandard title searches provided by title services provider ServiceLink on Freddie Mac REO property may provide a cautionary tale for those who might speak up to their employers about inadequate title searches.
ALTA: Title Insurance Volume Was Down Almost 11% in 2014
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has released its preliminary 2014 Year-end and Fourth-Quarter Market Share Analysis, showing premium volume down 10.9% from 2013.
RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Activity Lowest Since July 2006
Housing data provider RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February 2015, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 101,938 U.S. properties in February, a decrease of 4 percent from revised January numbers and down 9 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006.
MBA Weekly Report: Refinance Spike Continues to Wind Down
Mortgage applications decreased 3.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 13, 2015.
eRecording Begins in Two Minnesota Counties
Electronic recording (e-recording) of land documents in Minnesota’s Otter Tail and Norman counties is now available through Simplifile, the e-recording service provider has announced.
ALTA Names Simplifile as Elite Provider
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has announced that Simplifile has been named an Elite Provider.
Justifiable Reliance on Borrower Affidavits and the Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court doesn’t usually have much occasion to rule on issues concerning title searches. But twenty years ago, the high Court did decide a case concerning a title search issue that we’ve discussed here several times—the issue of whether a mortgage debt can be discharged in bankruptcy when the borrower has defrauded the lender but the lender failed to do a title search which would have disclosed the fraud.
Illinois Title Professional Gains ALTA National Title Professional Designation
Michelle Null has been awarded a National Title Professional (NTP) designation from the American Land Title Association. Null joins 39 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation.
Duchesne County, Utah Begins eRecording
Duchesne County, Utah is now accepting electronic documents for recording through Simplifile, the e-recording service provider has announced.
MBA Weekly Report: Mortgage Application Volume Eases
Mortgage applications decreased 1.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 6, 2015.
DeKalb County, Missouri Begins e-Recording
DeKalb County, Missouri is now accepting electronic documents for recording through Simplifile, the company has announced.
Title Company Liability for a Negligent Search or Examination
In most states, independent title searchers and title insurers may not have to worry about being successfully sued by purchasers for negligence in conducting a title search.  But title companies in many states may be liable to purchasers for a negligently performed title search or title examination.
CoreLogic: Home Prices Increased 5.7% Annually in January
Housing data provider CoreLogic has released its January 2015 Home Price Index (HPI) which shows that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased 5.7 percent in January 2015 compared to January 2014. This change represents 35 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 1.1 percent in January 2015 compared to December 2014.
ALTA Urges Delayed Enforcement of Disclosure Forms Due to Defect
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has released a statement in response to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray’s testimony before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, urging the CFPB to restrain enforcement of the use of disclosure forms because of a defect in the forms.
Venango County, Pennsylvania Begns e-Recording
Venango County, Pennsylvania has begun accepting electronically recorded documents, e-recording service provider Simplifile has announced.
MBA: Mortgage Credit Availability Increases Slightly in February
Mortgage credit for residences was slightly easier for homeowners to get in February, at least for most types of mortgages, according to the MBA's monthly credit availability report.
MBA Weekly Report: Mortgage Application Volume Nearly Flat
Mortgage applications increased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 27, 2015.
Phelps County, Nebraska Begins e-Recording
Nebraska has expanded electronic recording (e-recording) in Phelps County, e-recording service provider Simplifile has announced.
Automatic Subrogation for Refi Lenders: How Junior Lienholders Are Always Prejudiced

In equitable subrogation cases involving refinances, courts have often been persuaded to grant lenders relief because the junior lienholders have not been prejudiced by the refinance, which generally reduces the borrower’s interest rate and puts them in a better financial position in theory. But are junior lienholder always prejudiced in another way by refinances without subrogation agreements?

NAR: Pending Home Sales Index Increased in January
Improved buyer demand at the beginning of 2015 pushed pending home sales in January to their highest level since August 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw gains in activity in January.
Bristol South district, Massachusetts Begins e-Recording
Electronic recording (e-recording) of documents in Bristol South district in Massachusetts is now available, e-recording service provider Simplifile has announced.  This makes Massachusetts the sixth state to implement e-recording in all jurisdictions statewide.
Hanover County, Virginia Begins e-Recording
Hanover County, Virginia is now accepting documents for electronic recording, e-recording service provider Simplifile has announced.
MBA: Delinquencies on Residential Mortgages Lowest Since Q3 2007
The delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.68 percent of all loans outstanding at the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  This was the lowest level since the third quarter of 2007.
MBA Weekly Report: Application Volume Declines; Refinance Spike Continues to Fade
Mortgage applications decreased 3.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 20, 2015.  This week's results include an adjustment to account for the Presidents' Day holiday.
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