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Source of Title Blog : Attorneys

Acknowledgments in Ohio
by Robert Franco | 2011/10/14

In late 2001 the Ohio legislature passed a bill which included statutory forms of conveyance that contained a new acknowledgment clause.  Within a few months, prior to the effective date of the former bill, it introduced and passed a new bill making further changes.  There was some language related to the acknowledgments that was proposed, but never passed, that made its way in to subsequently recorded deeds.  Some seem to question the validity of these acknowledgments.  Whether they are valid or not depends on the precise language used, but they may be perfectly fine.

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Categories: Abstractors, Attorneys, Notaries Public, Ohio Legislation, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Are Quit-Claim Deeds Really Worthless in Texas?
by Robert Franco | 2011/06/07

I was stunned when I got a call from another Ohio attorney telling me that he was told by a title insurer that real estate he was dealing with in Texas was uninsurable because there were quit-claim deeds in the chain of title. He said "they treat them as if they don't exist." It didn't make any sense to me, so I did a little digging. I think I understand the logic of the insurers' position, but it seems like a huge problem that Texas really needs to address.

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Categories: Abstractors, Attorneys, Risk, Liability and Claims, Texas Legislation, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 4 comments ::

As I Predicted - The New Jersey Supreme Court Overruled a Bad Appellate Decision
by Robert Franco | 2010/08/03

Last year, I wrote a blog about The North Jersey Practice.  It was about an appellate case that held that an underwriter was responsible for an attorney's theft of funds - even though the attorney sole his client's money before the title company got involved. I wrote at the time, "I would expect a reversal on appeal."  And I was right...

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Categories: Attorneys, Defalcations, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

Freehold Capital Partners Still Trying to Securitize Private Transfer Fees
by Robert Franco | 2010/08/01

Undeterred by the several states that have banned the use of private transfer fees, Freehold is apparently still trying to find a way to securitize them.  The Wall Street Journal has reported that Freehold has approached several Wall Street banks to develop the securities, but has not yet struck a deal.

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Categories: Attorneys, Banking & Finance, Consumer Advocacy, General Interest, Legislation, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 9 comments ::

Clearly... I'm Not Charging Enough.
by Robert Franco | 2010/07/21

I recently read an article on HeraldNet entitled Real Estate Attorneys Worth the Expense.  As a real estate attorney, I naturally like to read things like that.  Having been in the title business for many years before going to law school, I am left with the impression that nobody believes they need an attorney in a real estate transaction.  Though the article makes a good point... something really caught my attention and made my jaw drop.

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Categories: Attorneys

Source of Title Blog :: 8 comments ::

Who Should Pay For The Owner's Policy?
by Robert Franco | 2010/01/18

There are certainly variations in custom from state to state, and even county to county.  In some locations, the seller is required to furnish an owner's policy to the buyer, in others the buyer pays for it if owner's coverage is desired.  I have always wondered about this difference and I thought it would be worth taking a closer look to see which makes more sense.  Add a comment and let us know what the custom is in your area and what you think about it.

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Categories: Attorneys, Consumer Advocacy, Realtors, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 6 comments ::

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

Source of Title Blog :: 5 comments ::

The North Jersey Practice
by Robert Franco | 2009/08/06

When the buyers hire their attorney to represent them in a real estate purchase and he absconds with their money, who is liable for the loss?  According to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, the title company is on the hook.  The Court refers to this as an illustration of the "north Jersey practice."  Perhaps it's time for title insurers in north Jersey to rethink their closing procedures. 

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Categories: Attorneys, Defalcations, Escrow/Funding, Risk, Liability and Claims, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 7 comments ::

Fidelity Company Sues Attorney For Relying On Its Commitment
by Robert Franco | 2009/06/18

Chicago Title, one of the Fidelity companies, recently filed a lawsuit against an attorney in New Jersey claiming that it was malpractice for him to rely on a title commitment he ordered for his client in the course of representing him in a purchase transaction.  I guess nothing in this industry should surprise me anymore, but I had to read this article twice just to make sure I wasn't missing something.  What does it say for the title industry when the nation's largest underwriter, controlling about 45% of the market share, sues an attorney who ordered its product for relying on its accuracy?

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Categories: Attorneys, Risk, Liability and Claims, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

A Suspicious Acknowledgment
by Robert Franco | 2009/04/13

In Ohio, documents used require both an acknowledgment by a notary and two witnesses.  There were a lot of cases where the witnesses weren't actually present when the documents were executed.  Often times, a notary signing agent would go to the borrowers' homes and the documents were returned to the office where someone there would add the witnesses signatures.  It didn't take long for the bankruptcy trustees to catch on and they were able to set aside mortgages that were not properly executed.

In response, the Ohio legislature changed the law - now, only the notary is required, no witnesses are needed.  This was probably the result of real estate, mortgage and title industry lobbying efforts.  But, I wonder now if even this lax standard is being properly followed.  I came across a document that set off warning bells.

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Categories: Attorneys, Ethics, Notaries Public, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 2 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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