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True or False: Zillow is Taking Over Title Searches
by Christopher Hoffer | 2019/08/15

Have you heard? There’s a new kid in town and their name is Zillow. We’ve seen it creep it’s way in slowly, but surely over the years, however, word on the streets says they are preparing to take overeverypart of our real estate industry. Is it true? Here’s what we know right now:

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5 Cyber Security Issues Title Agents Should Be Aware of
by Christopher Hoffer | 2019/06/07

 

Cyber security failure is a potential risk all businesses face, but one that is especially important for the real estate business. As a title agent, you should be aware of some of the top security threats posed, and what they mean for you.

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Thank you, Fidlar Technologies!
by Robert Franco | 2019/05/26

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a two-day educational symposium hosted by Fidlar Technologies, for the county recorders who use Fidlar's technology.  In fact, it was their 12th annual symposium; the theme was "You are Still the Source."  The focus of the keynote presentation was on demonstrating how the county recorders' information is used by the real estate industry, and others.  It was a great event - educational and enlightening.

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Categories: Abstractors, Public Officials, Public Records, Technology, Title Industry

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Real Estate and Email Fraud: How it Affects You
by Christopher Hoffer | 2019/05/13

More and more people are falling victim to email scams, and the stakes are raised when it comes to real estate. With the rise of technology comes higher risks of breaches in internet security, which means even as a title agent you and your clients can be affected by such risks. Read on to learn how to stay better protected as well as how to prevent any potential fraud.

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Top 5 Real Estate Abstractor Tools & Software
by Christopher Hoffer | 2019/05/13

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Debunking Misconceptions in the Real Estate Industry
by Christopher Hoffer | 2019/05/13

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Removing Standard Exceptions Leaves Agent Liable for Full Amount of Claim
by Robert Franco | 2019/02/03

Pitkin County Title, a Colorado title agency, issued an owner's policy to Preston and Betty Henn.  The Policy was underwritten by Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. Pitkin deleted standard exceptions from the policy for things that were ordinarily excluded from coverage.  As a result, the Henn's owner's policy committed Fidelity to extended coverage for unrecorded easements.  Unfortunately, the Henns soon became involved in a dispute over a neighbor's use of a footpath across their property.  When the neighbor filed a quiet title action, the Henns filed a claim on their policy.

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Categories: Title Problems, Title Standards

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Exploring Blockchain and Its Application to Real Estate Titles
by Robert Franco | 2019/01/13

I'm going to admit it -- I do not understand blockchain.  And, I do not like it when I don't understand something.  I have tried to read some articles and I've watched YouTube videos in an attempt to get a better grasp of the technology.  Unfortunately, it remains an elusive concept.  My goal this year is to figure it out.  If this is going to be a technology that government offices adopt to maintain our public real property records, that has the potential to eliminate title companies and attorneys in real estate transactions, I want to know how it works.      

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Categories: Attorneys, Innovation, Public Records, Technology, Title Industry

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Ohio Transfer on Death Designation Affidavit: Life Estate and the Remainder
by Robert Franco | 2018/09/16

This issue has come up three times over the past couple of weeks and it has me a bit perplexed.  Can an owner designate as beneficiaries in his Transfer of Death (TOD) Designation Affidavit one beneficiary to receive a life estate and another to receive the remainder?  In two cases, I had clients that wanted such a result, in another someone sent me a TOD Designation Affidavit that purported to designate one beneficiary as a life tenant and another as remainderman.  I did a little reading and I'm not certain it works... but I think it probably should.

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Categories: Ohio Legislation, Real Estate Law

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Top Consumer Watchdog Places Bureaucracy Ahead of Consumers... Literally.
by Robert Franco | 2018/04/26

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established in 2010 by the Dodd-Frank Act to consolidate much of the responsibility for consumer protection enforcement that had before then been scattered around many federal agencies.  The Act gave the CFPB a substantial amount of independence to operate without undue influence from typical political gamesmanship and unscrupulous lobby groups.  From its inception until Richard Cordray exited as the agency's director, the CFPB actively investigated consumer complaints and recovered approximately $12 billion for consumers.  But, since then, the agency has been a bit lax.  After Cordray left, President Trump appointed Mick Mulvaney as the new director, who has publicly criticized the CFPB and advocated getting rid of it.    

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Categories: Consumer Advocacy

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Westerly Becomes First Municipality in Rhode Island to Adopt E-recording
Simplifile, a leading provider of real estate document collaboration and recording technologies for lenders, settlement ...
Builder Confidence Trending Higher as Interest Rates Move Lower
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 66 in August, according to the la...
Single-Family Starts Continue Modest Improvement in July
Due to a decline in multifamily production, total housing starts fell 4 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual ...
July New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Increased 31.2 Percent
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for July 2019 shows mortgage applications f...
FHA Issues New Condominium Approval Rule
In an effort to promote affordable and sustainable homeownership, especially among credit-worthy first-time buyers, the ...

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