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Source of Title Blog : Technology

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

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

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

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

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 ::

A $5 Million Error: Just a simple mistake?
by Robert Franco | 2011/07/14

Cities across America are facing huge shortfalls in their budgets.  This means services are being cut and departments are seeing their budgets slashed.  Perhaps it is because these budget shortfalls are so common that nobody notice that the projection of an $11 million shortfall was off by about $5 million in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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Categories: General Interest, Technology

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

Two Iowa Counties Take a Stand for Privacy Rights
by Robert Franco | 2010/05/24

Laws passed in Iowa in 2005 and 2009 require county recorders to participate in an online records system, but two counties are refusing to cooperate.  Two years ago, privacy advocates discovered the system contained hundreds of social security numbers - including Governor Chet Culver's.  Officials in Hamilton and Hardin counties are refusing to provide new records, citing privacy concerns.  The debate is heating up as the Attorney General's office reviews the situation.

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Categories: Abstractors, Legislation, Technology, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 4 comments ::

New Technology Rumors Get Me Excited!
by Robert Franco | 2009/12/07

I love technology, but it has been a while since I have gotten excited about anything new.  Finally, I have something new to look forward to.  A new phone is rumored to be headed to Verizon soon... no, it's not the Motorola Droid, which was recently released with a million dollar ad campaign.  It has been dubbed the HTC Dragon, aka HTC Passion, and it is exactly what I have been waiting for!

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Categories: Technology

Source of Title Blog :: 6 comments ::

Scott Woolley's Vendetta
by Robert Franco | 2009/05/21

Scott Woolley at Forbes strikes again with another blasphemous article about title insurance. You may remember the rather insulting article he wrote in late 2006 - Inside America's Richest Insurance Racket.  So far, all he has shown is that he hasn't got the faintest clue about title insurance, but he is spreading his ignorance like an infectious disease.  In his latest rant against the industry, How To Save On Home Closing Costs, he mentions "title insurance and other dubious charges."  Somewhere along the line, perhaps in a former life, he must have been wronged by a title agent... this is apparently his revenge.

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Categories: Technology, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 5 comments ::

Snail Mail Closings
by Robert Franco | 2008/09/05

A few years ago, I assisted an Amish couple with the sale of their farm here in Ohio.  They moved to Wisconsin.  My attorney who lives near a large Amish community often helps them out with legal issues. For a real estate closing, he asked for my help.  When we did that closing, my attorney brought the couple to my office.  Since then, however, the couple has contacted me twice to help them with the transfer of some land that they still own here.  Without the aid of fax machines, or even a telephone, these closings always present some unique challenges.

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Categories: Technology, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Screw it! It's Too Difficult.
by Robert Franco | 2008/08/06

There is a very interesting article in the Detroit Free Press about a man who found his Social Security number in the county's online records and how Wayne County handles these situations.  It is estimated that the number of documents in Wayne County that contain Social Security numbers is in the hundreds of thousands.  With the Federal Trade Commission estimating that identity theft costs approximately nine million Americans $50 billion per year, surely Wayne County has a comprehensive plan to redact vulnerable information from their records.... ummm... nope.

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Categories: Public Records, Technology

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

Disappearing Documents
by Robert Franco | 2008/08/01

Source of Title recently ran a feature on documents that were discovered missing from the online records in two counties (see Title Examiner Discovers Documents Missing from Online Database). These incidents appear to have been limited to the online databases, but it should give us all pause for concern.  If this can happen with the online records, how can we be sure that the records we access in the courthouse, maintained by the same companies, are not subject to the same inconsistencies?  Truth be told... documents have disappeared from the computers at the courthouse too.

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Categories: Abstractors, Public Records, Technology

Source of Title Blog :: 22 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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