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Source of Title Blog

Reporting Non-Payment To The DOI
by Robert Franco | 2007/09/28 |

I have decided to try something new. I just filed a complaint with the Department of Insurance for non-payment by a client. I'm sure that isn't exactly the type of complaints they normally take, but my theory is that if the DOI wants to get a step ahead of the defalcations, they could benefit by this type of early warning. We will have to see if the DOI follows up with any inquiries.

The client, Vantage Land Title in Miamisburg, Ohio, called me to ask if we still did work in a particular county. I told her that we did and we reviewed our fees and the other counties we covered and she indicated that she would send an order over for the one she needed now. It was a pleasant conversation. Then she asked, "do we owe you any money?"

I checked and sure enough, they owed us $2,208.50 and we had actually cut them off in April for non-payment. After several attempts to resolve the delinquent status of their account, they were turned into collections. Right away she promised to get us a check, claiming that they had lost a large part of their office staff; as if that were the reason for non-payment. That was over a week ago and we never received the order, nor payment.

A few days ago, I had spoken with an out-of-state company that mentioned that they were also owed a considerable amount of money. It appears to me that after they were cut off by local abstractors, Vantage attempted to get their orders done through an out-of-state company and when they got cut-off there, they started making calls again looking for someone else. Perhaps they finally found someone else that they hadn't yet run up unpaid bills with.

This is almost certainly a sign of cash-flow problems and it seems a likely indicator that defalcation is on the horizon. At the very least it should be cause for alarm for the DOI and whoever their underwriter is.

I understand that the DOI is not a collection agency. I do not expect them to help me get paid. However, I do hope that they recognize the warning signs and conduct an audit of the company. If irregularities are found perhaps they can be shut down before they "stiff" too many other abstractors... or cause problems for homeowners.

Robert A. Franco
SOURCE OF TITLE
rfranco@sourceoftitle.com

Source of Title Blog ::




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Categories: Abstractors, Billing Issues

543 words | 2650 views | 7 comments | log in or register to post a comment


Robert: This looks like something w...
Robert: This looks like something we will be reading about on the main page of SOT in the near future too- "indictment of .. for embezzleing insurance/settlement funds"- I do hope the DOI takes an aggressive stance on this also. There needs to be a more of this kind of action, maybe then these companies will see they can not steal the monies that they purport to pay out to contractors needs to be accounted for and they are responsible for the same.  
by Steve Meinecke | 2007/09/28 | log in or register to post a reply

Robert: This looks like something w...
Robert: This looks like something we will be reading about on the main page of SOT in the near future too- "indictment of .. for embezzleing insurance/settlement funds"- I do hope the DOI takes an aggressive stance on this also. There needs to be a more of this kind of action, maybe then these companies will see they can not steal the monies that they purport to pay out to contractors, needs to be accounted for and they are responsible for the same.  
by Steve Meinecke | 2007/09/28 | log in or register to post a reply

Good luck getting the DOI to enforc...
Good luck getting the DOI to enforce anything regarding the title insurance industry.  
by Anonymous | 2007/09/28 | log in or register to post a reply

Robert
As a Notary in N.J. I ...
Robert
As a Notary in N.J. I have started to use this avenue to report Title Co. and/or their agents (Signing Services) who refuse to pay or only pay partialy for mortgages that do not fund. Not trying to use the State to collect but I am charging the T/C with attempting to influnce a Notary into not acting as a disinterested party by offering an incentive to "sell" the loan.
Jim Lissemore, Pres.
Flexo-Notaries
 
by Jim Lissemore | 2007/09/29 | log in or register to post a reply

Robert: We need a "deadbeat client...
Robert: We need a "deadbeat client" page. I know there is liability associated with this, but can you not post a disclaimer for yourself and let the abstractors post where all of us can see? Perhaps giving the client the chance to post, too? We could also have a "cleared up the trouble" area. Argent is about to go into other states and I'd love to be able to avoid the deadbeats. 
by Alix | 2007/10/01 | log in or register to post a reply

I'm curious as to why we as busines...
I'm curious as to why we as businesses aren't using the same 'motivating factor' for our vendors, as are used with people as individuals to pay their debts in a timely fashion - namely, reporting collections with Dunn & Bradstreet??

It just seems to me that part of the bigger problem is the lack of predictable consequences for business entities that do not pay their contract invoices.
 
by Renee Kovacs | 2007/10/08 | log in or register to post a reply

Alix: If you recall, there was a "...
Alix: If you recall, there was a "black list" being passed around on Source of Title a few years ago. The concept was aimed at letting all of the abstractors know which companies to watch out for. Source of Title did not participate in the list's creation or dissemination. There were a few problems with the list: 1) it was too subjective - some of the clients that were hated by some, were loved by others. And, 2) of course was the liability.

The general forums seem to get enough of this type of posting and its open to everyone to share their experiences good or bad. And, the company that is the subject of the post has the opportunity to reply if they desire. The best course of action is searching the forums for posts about particular companies and after reading all of the comments, you can draw your own conclusions.

One thing that Source of Title has considered is a specialized credit rating system particularly designed for the title industry. However, it would be difficult to implement with any real effectiveness and Source of Title just can't afford to launch such a system.

Renee: That is an excellent question. For some reason, abstractors don't take any "real" actions and these deadbeats just get away with it. They have learned that they can, and the problem just gets worse. It would be nice to see more abstractors be more diligent with using collections, and other alternatives.
 
by Robert Franco | 2007/10/08 | log in or register to post a reply
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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