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Source of Title Blog : Title Problems

Ohio Bill Introduced to Abolish Dower
by Robert Franco | 2017/12/10

Ohio is one of only a handful of states that still recognizes dower.  There has been talk about abolishing it for years, but nothing much has come of it until now.  On November 7, 2017, House Bill 407 was introduced and it is currently assigned to the Civil Justice Committee for hearings.  

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Categories: Ohio Legislation, Real Estate Law, Title Problems

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More on Schwartzwald: Ohio Supreme Court Reverses Another Foreclosure
by Robert Franco | 2013/01/21

The Schwartzwald case held that a Plaintiff in a foreclosure case that does not hold the note or mortgage at the time it files the complaint lacks standing, and the court therefore lacks jurisdiction.  The big question that this left open was: what effect does that have on all of the faulty foreclosures that have already been completed?  We may now have some insight into this thanks to a case that was reversed and remanded just last month, Washington Mutual Bank v. Wallace.

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Categories: Foreclosures, Title Problems

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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 ::

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

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Bevilacqua Court Got It Wrong
by Robert Franco | 2011/10/24

The recently decided Bevilacqua case in Massachusetts held that a buyer who received a defective deed from a foreclosing bank did not have standing to bring a "try title" action to clear his title. Though this a Supreme Judicial Court opinion, and it is now the law in Massachusetts, I don't think the Court got it right. 

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Categories: Foreclosures, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 11 comments ::

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 ::

Hypothetical: Same property sold twice!
by Robert Franco | 2011/08/15

Last week, I posted an Interesting Hypothetical Question in the forums.  Basically, the seller sold the same property to two different buyers on the same day, before either of them had the opportunity to record his deed.  The obvious question was "how owns the property?"  Is it the one who first took delivery of the deed, or the one who recorded first, by just minutes? 

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Categories: Fraudulent Transfers, General Interest, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 2 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 ::

A Little Known Fact About Dower In Ohio
by Robert Franco | 2011/02/17

This may be of little interest to most of you.  Dower is only recognized by about half a dozen states; Ohio is one of them.  To briefly explain the concept of dower, it is a one-third life estate interest that a spouse has in the real property of the other.  It is for this very important reason that all conveyances of interests in real property include the marital status of the grantor, along with a release of dower by the spouse if the grantor is married.  This is so even if the property is only in the name of the grantor.

There are usually only two ways to extinguish dower, aside from the spouse signing away dower rights by joining in the execution of the grant document by the title-holding spouse.  Those would be divorce and death.  However, there is another little known statute that can extinguish dower - I'm blogging about this today because I have never seen it used and until very recently, I was unaware of it.  By statute in Ohio, adultery can be a bar to dower.

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Categories: Ohio Legislation, Title Industry, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 5 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 ::

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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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