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Source of Title Blog : Small Agents

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

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NAILTA's 5th Annual Conference
by Robert Franco | 2012/08/16

The National Association of Independent Land Title Agents is having their 5th Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD, on September 30 - October 2, 2012.  If you are an independent agent, who has been impacted by affiliated business arrangements, you have probably asked yourself "why isn't somebody doing anything about this?"  Well, "somebody" is - NAILTA and several other state associations of independent title agents have been formed to represent people like you.  If you want to know more, go to the NAILTA conference and get involved.

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Categories: Land Title Associations, Small Agents, Title Industry

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OAITA's Monday Conference a Success!
by Robert Franco | 2011/08/11

The Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents held its Fourth Annual Convention on Monday... it was truly excellent.  Not just excellent for an organization only four years old, but excellent by any standard.  Most incredible, was that they had a U.S. Senator speak... and take questions.  More important than anything he said, was what he heard.

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Categories: Abstractors, Land Title Associations, Small Agents, Title Industry

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This Week's OAITA Conference
by Robert Franco | 2010/04/21

I had the opportunity to attend the Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents (OAITA) Conference in Columbus, Ohio on Monday.  It was a great event with nearly 60 in attendance at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Arena District. If the independent agents have a future in the title industry, it lies with the OAITA and similar organizations.

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Categories: Abstractors, Land Title Associations, Opportunities, Small Agents, Title Standards

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Coming Soon: The Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents Convention
by Robert Franco | 2010/02/18

Ohio independent title agents and abstractors should give serious consideration to attending the Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents' (OAITA) convention on April 19, 2010.  There is finally an association dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of the independent agents and it is worthy of your support.  I'll be there this year and I hope to see a strong turn out from Ohioans!

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Categories: Abstractors, Land Title Associations, Opportunities, Small Agents, Title Industry

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Attorney Sued Over Inadequate Title Search
by Robert Franco | 2009/12/05

In an industry dominated by short searches it seems rather odd to see an underwriter sue an agent for professional negligence for only searching 40 years, rather than 60.  But that is exactly what is happening in Putnam County, West Virginia.  When an attorney, acting as an agent for First American, missed a corrective deed filed in 1958, First American paid the claim and filed suit against him.

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Categories: Abstractors, Attorneys, Small Agents, Title Problems, Title Standards

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Utterly Disappointed!
by Robert Franco | 2009/09/08

I dropped my membership in ALTA several years ago, but I hadn't completely given up hope on the organization.  I have been watching them to see if they could make me change my mind.  Unfortunately, they have not.  In fact, just the opposite... I am much less likely to re-join now than ever before. 

It appears that ALTA gave up on trying to reinvent itself and show us all that it could represent the small, independent agents along side the underwriters and large agencies.  Rather, they have decided to license the ALTA forms that we all need to conduct our business.  Surely, this is a blatant attempt to get money from agents after they have completely failed to give them any real reason to join. 

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Categories: Abstractors, Land Title Associations, Small Agents

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It's Time For Honest Competition
by Robert Franco | 2009/08/19

Hardly a week goes by without a news article on the evils of title insurance. They usually allude to the fact that title insurance is over-priced. Some call the fees "mysterious," others cite to the lack of "transparency," and Scott Woolley at Forbes calls title insurance premiums "dubious charges." Lately, they point out that title insurance is a $10 billion dollar industry.  Despite ALTA's CEO Kurt Pfotenhauer's statement that "nobody's getting rich" selling title insurance, the media, and the public, aren't buying it.

There is talk about federal regulation and many states have begun taking a hard look at addressing the issue before it comes to that. Maybe something does need to be done, but what is clear is that nobody seems to understand the nature of title insurance or the problems with the current regulations.

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Categories: Competition, RESPA, Small Agents, Title Industry, Title Standards

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New No-No's In Ohio
by Robert Franco | 2009/07/02

This month in Ohio, House Bill 525 went into effect requiring very strict formatting on documents to be recorded in the recorders' offices across the state.    Any document that does not conform will be be accepted ONLY if an additional $20 recording fee is paid.  It seems, like many well-intentioned laws, this one too will come with some unexpected consequences.  There are several common practices that may end up costing title companies lots of extra money if they aren't very careful. 

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Categories: Abstractors, Notaries Public, Ohio Legislation, Public Records, Small Agents, Title Industry

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Everyone Else Is Doing It...
by Robert Franco | 2009/05/12

Remember the days when Realtors sold homes, banks lent money, and builders built homes?  Those were the good old days when title agents did honest-to-God title searches and issued real title insurance.  Does anyone miss those times?  Now, everyone issues title insurance and nobody really cares about good title searches.  And, now, there is a new player interested in getting into the title insurance business... the government.  Why not?  Everyone else is doing it.

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Categories: Small Agents, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 8 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



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