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Speaking Up About Short Title Searches May Be Bad for Your Career
A recently settled whistleblower lawsuit involving allegations of fraudulently substandard title searches provided by title services provider ServiceLink on Freddie Mac REO property may provide a cautionary tale for those who might speak up to their employers about inadequate title searches.
ALTA: Title Insurance Volume Was Down Almost 11% in 2014
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has released its preliminary 2014 Year-end and Fourth-Quarter Market Share Analysis, showing premium volume down 10.9% from 2013.
Punctual Abstract
RealtyTrac: Foreclosure Activity Lowest Since July 2006
Housing data provider RealtyTrac has released its U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for February 2015, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — were reported on 101,938 U.S. properties in February, a decrease of 4 percent from revised January numbers and down 9 percent from a year ago to the lowest level since July 2006.
MBA Weekly Report: Refinance Spike Continues to Wind Down
Mortgage applications decreased 3.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 13, 2015.
Quick links
Kirk Smith, Harris County, Texas, has been ordered to prison following his conviction for defrauding seven different Houston, Texas-area banks of more than $2 million in 2007 and 2008.
A Comment on House Prices: Real Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in December
Some experts say that the housing recovery is "faltering". Bill McBride, aka "CalculatedRisk, disagrees.
Can That Easement Stand?
Short answers to some common questions that arise when a pipeline company seeks to use an old easement for new pipeline construction.
POINT OF VIEW: Misunderstanding Imbued Title Insurance Industry
4th Circuit Rules Executed But Unrecorded Security Interest Has Priority Over IRS Tax Lien (Maryland)
On October 31, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit interpreted Maryland law in ruling that a bank's security interest in a Chapter 11 debtor's property created by a deed of trust that was executed before, but recorded after, the Internal Revenue Service filed a tax lien, had priority over the tax lien.
eRecording Begins in Two Minnesota Counties
Electronic recording (e-recording) of land documents in Minnesota’s Otter Tail and Norman counties is now available through Simplifile, the e-recording service provider has announced.
ALTA Names Simplifile as Elite Provider
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) has announced that Simplifile has been named an Elite Provider.
Justifiable Reliance on Borrower Affidavits and the Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court doesn’t usually have much occasion to rule on issues concerning title searches. But twenty years ago, the high Court did decide a case concerning a title search issue that we’ve discussed here several times—the issue of whether a mortgage debt can be discharged in bankruptcy when the borrower has defrauded the lender but the lender failed to do a title search which would have disclosed the fraud.
Illinois Title Professional Gains ALTA National Title Professional Designation
Michelle Null has been awarded a National Title Professional (NTP) designation from the American Land Title Association. Null joins 39 other industry leaders from around the United States who have earned the professional designation.
Title Company Liability for a Negligent Search or Examination
In most states, independent title searchers and title insurers may not have to worry about being successfully sued by purchasers for negligence in conducting a title search.  But title companies in many states may be liable to purchasers for a negligently performed title search or title examination.
Automatic Subrogation for Refi Lenders: How Junior Lienholders Are Always Prejudiced

In equitable subrogation cases involving refinances, courts have often been persuaded to grant lenders relief because the junior lienholders have not been prejudiced by the refinance, which generally reduces the borrower’s interest rate and puts them in a better financial position in theory. But are junior lienholder always prejudiced in another way by refinances without subrogation agreements?

Illegal Sham AfBAs May Still Exist After Carter v. Welles Bowen
In a Federal Court in Kentucky, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has survived a motion on the pleadings by the defendant in an alleged sham affiliated business arrangement case, CFPB v. Borders & Borders, PLC. In doing so, the court may have breathed some new life into enforcement efforts against sham affiliated business arrangements, by reviving some of the analysis of shams that was struck down in a recent federal appeals court case.
Title Insurer Negligence Liability to Policyholders for Negligent Searches?
Last week, we discussed the “Kansas Rule,” which provides that a title searcher can be liable for negligence to the buyer in a real estate transaction, even though the searcher conducted its search for a title insurer or attorney, not the buyer. This week, we discuss another oddball state rule—in another state, a title insurer can be liable to its policyholder for negligence if its search is not accurate.
On the Blogs

Independent Abstractors: Making Peace With Technology (Part Two)
Thomas Pryde's Blog

Independent Abstractors: Dying Breed or Valued Specialists? (Part One)
Thomas Pryde's Blog

Thomas Pryde's Blog

Reconstruction of Past Persons
William Pattison 's Blog

Violations of Professional Codes
William Pattison 's Blog

The Deed of Trust Trustee, Laws, and the Constitution
john gault's Blog

An End to Outsourcing & Off-Shoring of Title?
William Pattison 's Blog

Civil Records, Probate, Title and Same Sex Marriage Collide at Supreme Court
William Pattison 's Blog

Season Shift in Foreclosure Marlet
William Pattison 's Blog

Je Suis Charlie
William Pattison 's Blog


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