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Source of Title Blog : Abstractors

A Time-Saving Title Search Tool?
by Robert Franco | 2017/05/29

There really haven't been many advances in title searching in a couple of decades - not since the book indices were replaced by computers.  Even then, it's arguable whether that was really an improvement.  I'm old-school -- I prefer the books.  I think it was quicker to search a name in the books, particularly when it was a common name, or one susceptible of several spelling variations.  Sure, the digitization of the records has made it easier to remotely access the records, but has it really changed the way we search? 

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Categories: Abstractors, Innovation, Technology

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Ohio's H.B. 201 Gets My Vote for Worst Bill of the Year
by Robert Franco | 2014/05/06

Yes, I know it is only May.  There is still a lot of time for our legislature to really do something stupid (and I'm sure they will), but I'm pretty confident that H.B. 201 will take the award for Worst Bill of the Year for 2014.  It seeks to greatly expand and codify equitable subrogation, which I have blogged about before. In 2010, I opined that Equitable Subrogation was an Over-used Remedy for Negligence and I applauded an Ohio Supreme Court decision that limited its applicability.  I was particularly pleased with the Court because more than a year earlier I questioned the lower court decision that applied equitable subrogation to bail out the negligent lender. 

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Categories: Abstractors, Huh?, Land Title Associations, Ohio Legislation, Small Agents, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Is a Conveyance Fee Due on the Conveyance of an Easement in Ohio?
by Robert Franco | 2013/05/24

When a deed is recorded in Ohio, the Auditor's office normally charges a conveyance fee of $4.00 per thousand of the value of the property conveyed.  I was recently told that at least one Ohio County has been charging the conveyance fee at the time easements are recorded.  This has not been the normal practice, to the best of my knowledge, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is not proper.  So, is the conveyance of an easement subject to the conveyance fee?

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Categories: Abstractors, Ohio Legislation, Public Officials, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Foreclosures in Ohio After Schwartzwald
by Robert Franco | 2012/12/31

On October 31, 2012, the Ohio Supreme Court decided Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation v. Schwartzwald, finally answering the question: Can the lack of standing or a real party in interest defect in a foreclosure be cured by the assignment of the mortgage prior to judgment?  Until Schwartzwald, there was a split on this issue among the courts of appeal.  According to the Ohio Supreme Court, "a lack of standing at the outset of litigation cannot be cured by receipt of an assignment of the claim or by substitution of the real party in interest."  What does this mean for the many foreclosures that have not followed this rule of law and what do title examiners need to look for when reviewing foreclosures in the chain of title?

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Categories: Abstractors, Foreclosures, Title Industry, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 4 comments ::

We Need New Policies or Laws for Computer Indexing
by Robert Franco | 2012/08/14

I had the pleasure of attending the Ohio Association of Independent Title Agent's conference yesterday.  The OAITA is a great organization and they provided some excellent discussion at this year's conference.  One particular speaker gave me an opportunity to ask a question that has been on my mind for quite some time; the speaker was Rick Campbell, President of the Ohio Recorders Association and Stark County Recorder.  I asked him if there was a state-wide policy of noting in the index when corrections were made.

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Categories: Abstractors, Ohio Legislation, Opportunities, Public Officials, Public Records

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

Work From Home as a Title Abstractor!
by Robert Franco | 2012/06/12

I guess it really isn't anything new... with online records becoming so prevalent, many title abstractors have traded their traditionally casual attire for silk jammies.  Though online access varies from county to county, I have always been of the impression that you really can't do a thorough search from the comforts of your living room.  First, it is rare that all of the records you need are available online.  And, second, the "official records" are usually on found in the county courthouses.  Nonetheless, ads are popping up offering "work from home" positions for title abstractors.

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Categories: Abstractors

Source of Title Blog :: 19 comments ::

Hypothetical: Life Estates
by Robert Franco | 2012/05/05

This site is dedicated to title issues, and particularly title searching.  Because I believe it is important to discuss issues that come up in the course of a title search, I have posted some hypothetical questions in the past that were inspired by actual searches.  We have discussed recording statutes and survivorship tenancy.  Most recently, I posted a hypothetical on life estates in the forums. 

This hypothetical is based on a fact pattern from an actual title search.  My first thought was "the client will certainly call me with questions on this one," so I thought it would make for a good discussion here.

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Categories: Abstractors, General Interest

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Can A Trust Hold Title In Ohio?
by Robert Franco | 2012/02/23

Generally speaking, a trust is not a legal entity and it may not hold title to real property, with a couple of exceptions for specific types of trusts.  Rather, it is the trustee who holds title for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust.  For example, the proper grantee on a deed funding a trust with real property is "Jon Smith, Trustee of The Jon Smith Trust."  A deed to "The Jon Smith Trust" is a void ab initio because the trust is a non-entity.  Unfortunately, there are many deeds of record purporting to convey the property to the trust, with no mention of the trustee.  Ohio has recently passed a bill that will allow for such defects to be cured.  

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Categories: Abstractors, Ohio Legislation, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Is That Mortgage Open-Ended?
by Robert Franco | 2011/12/27

I got a call from a client this morning asking if a mortgage we showed on a title search was open-ended.  It is an important question.  When we do a search, we report what we find.  If the mortgage is open-ended we write "Open-Ended Mortgage."  If it is not, we simply write "Mortgage."  But, this reminded me of an email I received a few months ago.  It seems that an abstractor did not indicate whether the mortgage was open-ended or not.  As it turned out, it was open-ended and there was a claim on the title policy because of the discrepancy. The question in the email I received was simply "who is responsible for the claim?"

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Categories: Abstractors, E&O Insurance, Risk, Liability and Claims

Source of Title Blog :: 15 comments ::

Last Week I Wrote-off Approximately $7,000 In Bad Debt.
by Robert Franco | 2011/12/21

I have always resisted writing-off bad debt.  I know that we have been carrying balances on customer accounts that is uncollectable.  But my theory was that if those customers ever called to ask us to do their work again, I wanted to be able to tell them to pay their balance first.  So, I just kept it on the books as a reminder.  Finally, though, to get a fresh start in 2012, I decided to clean up all of those accounts... some dating back to 2004.  I learned a few things, or at least confirmed what I already knew, that I thought would be worth sharing.

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Categories: Abstractors

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

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Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco
SOURCE OF TITLE

 

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