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Source of Title Blog

Ohio Abstractors, Beware the Terminating Homestead Exemption
by Robert Franco | 2018/01/21

In Ohio, the disabled and elderly can receive a break on their real estate taxes by applying for a homestead exemption.  The exemption is generally available to Ohio residents who are disabled or at least 65 years old, who own and occupy their home and meet certain income thresholds.  For a title abstractor, it is important to note on the search that the taxes have been reduced by a homestead exemption so that the escrow agent can calculate taxes properly for a new owner - who may not qualify for the exemption.  It is also important to note when homestead may be ending without a transfer of title, such as may happen when a homeowner passes away but their estate has not conveyed the real estate.

Read on for more information about homestead, and an example that can catch an abstractor and escrow agent off guard. 

[read more...]

Categories: Abstractors, Escrow/Funding, Ohio Legislation, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 1 comments ::

The Passing of a Good Friend, Pat Scott
by Robert Franco | 2018/01/02

I have gotten to know a lot of people since I started Source of Title in 2002.  Many of them I have had the pleasure of meeting in person at the National Association of Land Title Examiners and Abstractors (NALTEA) conferences.  One of the most memorable and friendly of the bunch was Pat Scott, and I am very sorry to say that he passed away just before the new year. 

Below are some of my memories of Pat, as well as his obituary and a link where you can sign the Guest Book. If you would like to share a story about Pat, feel free to post it below. 

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Categories: General Interest

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

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.  

[read more...]

Categories: Ohio Legislation, Real Estate Law, Title Problems

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Can the Government Acquire Property by Adverse Possession?
by Robert Franco | 2017/10/08

In Ohio, you can acquire legal title to another's real property if you prove exclusive possession and open, notorious, continuous, and adverse use for a period of 21 years. But, the general rule is that you cannot adversely possess property against the state.  So, when a friend here in Ohio emailed me this very interesting question, my first thought was "sure... I think so, if all of the elements are met, why not?"  But, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken "without just compensation." Does that rule out the possibility that the government can take title by adverse possession -- without going through the process of a condemnation proceeding and paying just compensation? Hmmm... it really is an interesting question.

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Categories: Adverse Possession, Inverse Condemnation, Real Estate Law

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

Positive Changes in Ohio's Budget Bill: Recording Fee Hike Nixed, and more...
by Robert Franco | 2017/06/28

Ohio House Bill 49, the FY 2018-2019 Operating Budget, is headed to the Governor's office with a couple of significant, and positive changes. As I blogged a couple of months ago, they tried to sneak a massive increase in recording fees into the budget bill - changing to a flat-fee structure. That entire proposal has been nixed. And, the Good Funds Law is getting a much needed update to increase cash and cashier check limits.  

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Categories: Escrow/Funding, Ohio Legislation

Source of Title Blog :: 0 comments ::

My First Experience with Inverse Condemnation
by Robert Franco | 2017/06/25

Last week I wrote about inverse condemnation: The Supreme Court of Virginia Examines the Limits of Inverse Condemnation.  It reminded me of a client I had shortly after I started practicing law, Yetieve.  She was in her late 70's and she was taking care of her husband who had dementia.  The last thing she needed was to be forced from her home, but after an unfortunate series of events they had to move. A corner of her home was sinking into a 12 foot deep crater and the roof was starting to crack -- it wasn't safe to stay there.  What had caused it, and who was responsible?  Well, that is an interesting story. 

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Categories: Inverse Condemnation

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 ::

Confirmed... The Ohio Good Funds Law is Harming Consumers
by Robert Franco | 2017/05/17

A few days ago I wrote a blog about wire fraud.  I commented that those responsible for the change in our good funds law were at least partially to blame for innocent consumers getting conned out of their life savings.  Well, yesterday a local ABC news station has confirmed that I was right.

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Categories: Crime, Ohio Legislation

Source of Title Blog :: 3 comments ::

Email Fraud in Real Estate Transactions is on the Rise
by Robert Franco | 2017/05/14

A scheme that targets real estate transactions can be devastating to potential homebuyers.  Such scams are on the rise and changes intended to protect settlement professionals may have made matters worse for many innocent, unsuspecting consumers.

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Categories: Crime, Escrow/Funding, Legislation, Ohio Legislation, Risk, Liability and Claims, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 2 comments ::

The Ohio House Sneaks a Massive Recording Fee Increase into the New Budget Bill
by Robert Franco | 2017/04/25

It was kept relatively quiet, though rumors have been circulating for a few weeks. Today the Ohio House of Representatives introduced a substitute budget bill that includes a massive increase in recording fees. Some documents will cost more than double if this version of the budget passes.  

[read more...]

Categories: Ohio Legislation, Public Records, Title Industry

Source of Title Blog :: 0 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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Recent Comments

 Thank you for the reminder to check for that notation about homestead exemption ending on the ...
by stephen willard
Pat was one of the sweetest men I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.  At every conference he ...
by Douglas Gallant
Pat was a good friend and a critical part of NALTEA.  So many memories from the NALTEA conferen...
by Jay Duncan
Pat was a good friend.  I have many wonderful memories, having known him. for 13 years,  ...
by Wanda Steudel
I have done Richland and Lexington Counties many times and I agree.  My gripe is I have seen ou...
by Naomi Backes
You're a good man, my friend.  I have worked for many lawyers in the past and it is too easy to...
by Alix Ott
I concur with the general sentiment that the advancement in information technology will likely make ...
by Don (Chunshen) Li
Posting from personal experience... The title company I work for has had 2 instances within th...
by Richard Palen
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