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Source of Title Blog : Title Standards

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

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Equitable Subrogation is an Over-used Remedy for Negligence
by Robert Franco | 2010/08/27

There is a great post on the Ohio Association of Independent Title Agent's (OAITA) blog - Ohio Supreme Court Says No to Equitable Subrogation.  The Ohio Supreme Court last week refused to apply the doctrine of equitable subrogation to save a lender from a "missed" mortgage when it refinanced the borrower's first mortgage.  My personal opinion - that is good news!

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Categories: Abstractors, Foreclosures, Title Problems, Title Standards

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

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

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Abstracting and the Unauthorized Practice of Law
by Robert Franco | 2010/04/11

An interesting post in the forums raised the issue of the unauthorized practice of law as it relates to title abstracting.  This is a very interesting topic with a long history that starts with the basic question - what is "abstracting?"  The function of an abstractor has changed over the years.  The line between abstracting and the practice of law has been blurred. 

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Categories: Abstractors, Legislation, Opportunities, Title Standards

Source of Title Blog :: 14 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 ::

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

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

What The E&O Insurers Do Not Understand
by Robert Franco | 2009/03/15

The dynamics of the title industry have changed dramatically over the past decade or so, but errors and omissions insurance has not.  This has caused many abstractors' insurance premiums to rise, often due to claims which are beyond their control.  When you consider the types of claims that are classified as "searching error," it is easy to see how independent abstractors could do everything right and still see an increase in their annual premiums for E&O insurance. 

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Categories: E&O Insurance, Title Industry, Title Standards

Source of Title Blog :: 11 comments ::

A Multi-State Survey Of Title Search Requirements
by Robert Franco | 2008/07/17

I recently wrote a blog about the vague search standards set forth in Ohio's title insurance laws (see A Reasonable Examination Of Title). After speaking with a title professional in Arkansas about their more strict requirements, I became curious.  I wanted to know if Ohio was an anomaly.  Could it be that most states have good, solid requirements for the title evidence used to determine the insurability of title?  Not surprisingly, Arkansas turned out to be the anomaly.

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Categories: Abstractors, Legislation, Title Standards

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Bad News For Creditors
by Robert Franco | 2008/07/03

Though it's not the primary purpose of the title insurance industry, title companies have always played an important role in the process of collecting judgments.  When an interest in land was conveyed, whether it was a sale or a new mortgage, the title company did a thorough title search and if there were any judgment liens they were required to be paid off before the transaction could proceed.  The main function of this, of course, was to clear the title so a policy could be issued.  However, as a secondary matter, it assured creditors that they would get paid if the debtor tried to dispose of their interest in the encumbered property.

Today, shoddy workmanship and a drastic decline in search standards means that judgment creditors can no longer rely on the system.  That is bad news for creditors.

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Categories: Abstractors, Foreclosures, Title Industry, Title Problems, Title Standards

Source of Title Blog :: 9 comments ::

Choose Your Poison Carefully
by Robert Franco | 2008/07/02

The title industry is rapidly changing and there are two distinct movements afoot: one dominated by the underwriters and the other is attorney controlled.  There is no shortage of critics on either side of the battle, however, most seem to prefer neither.  That is not realistic - one side will win in the end and the many small independent agents and abstractors are going to get squeezed out of the industry.  It may be time to step up and realize that changes are coming and get behind one or the other... so choose your poison carefully.

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Categories: Abstractors, Attorneys, Competition, Escrow/Funding, Notaries Public, Small Agents, Title Industry, Title Standards

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
SOURCE OF TITLE

 

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