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If you have a title question you would like answered, contact us and we would be happy to answer it for you.

Basics of the Integrated Mortgage Disclosures Rule

What – Changes to the Loan and Settlement Disclosure forms and processes are coming.

When – The changes will be effective for transactions where a loan application is taken by a lender on or after August 1, 2015.

Why – Because the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 mandates the combination of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) loan disclosures with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1 Settlement Statement disclosures.

How – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an entity created by the Dodd Frank Act, issued a new TILA final regulation that, among other things, created two new forms (each with many variations) and new 3 business day delivery requirements.
• Loan Estimate – 3 business days after application
• Closing Disclosure – 3 business days before consummation

Title Insurance Fights For You!

Title insurance is much more than another piece of paper that you sign. It has the power to protect you against many different unforeseen problems that may occur.

How an Owner’s Policy Protects You!

There are a number of things an Owners Policy protects you from, including pesky neighbors who want to challenge your property line.

What to look for in a Title company.

What is Escrow?

What is Title Insurance?

Deceased in Title

What can be done if a deceased person is in title and no will exists?

If no will exists, we can prepare an Heirship Affidavit. We will need to know about any children born to the decedent. The Affidavit will be signed by a family member and two disinterested witnesses. It will be filed in the public county records where the property is located.

Abstract of Judgment

You just received the title commitment from us and there is an Abstract of Judgment on Schedule C. What should be done?

Please provide us with the borrower’s social security number, date of birth, and driver’s license number. We will compare this information with the information on the judgment. If the judgment belongs to the borrower, it may have to be paid at closing. If not, we will require a Not Same Person Affidavit to be signed at closing.

Foreign Notary

If your client must sign documents outside of the United States, be sure to notify us when opening title. The process of signing in a foreign country can take additional time. It is essential that the lender approve of the manner in which the documents will be signed and acknowledged.

It is best to have the documents signed and acknowledged at the local American consulate. If this cannot be done, a Notary Public of that country can acknowledge the documents and an Apostille or Certification of Authentication will be required.

Power of Attorney

There are times when your client may not be able to make it to the closing. If they wish to use a Power of Attorney, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • The Power of Attorney must be reviewed and approved by the title company and the lender before closing.
  • The Power of Attorney must contain a description of the property in the transaction unless it is a Statutory Durable POA.
  • The original Power of Attorney must be provided at closing for recording.
  • We must be able to make contact with the person granting the powers unless they are incapacitated.

Fall = Property Tax Season

It’s that time of year again. Shadows are lengthening, leaves are beginning to show a hint of color, temperatures are out of the triple digits, and property tax bills will be mailed out soon …

Tax bills are scheduled to be sent out on or around October 1st. Once taxes are due and payable, they must be paid in full at closing. Even if the tax bill has not yet been issued, the lender may (and probably will) require us to collect an amount sufficient to pay the bill when it does come out.

In a sales transaction with a lender we will collect this amount from the seller. We will prorate from the date of closing through the end of the year. This prorated amount will be debited from the buyer and credited to the seller at closing. In a cash sale, if the bill is not out, we leave it up the parties involved whether we collect or not.

In a refinance or home equity transaction we will collect the full amount due for from the borrower at closing. Again, even if the bill is not out, the lender may require us to collect an amount sufficient to pay it once it does come out.

Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have regarding property taxes. We’re here to help you!

Acceptable Identification for Closing

The HUD has been reviewed and the numbers are perfect! Your borrower/buyer is not bringing more money to the table than what had been estimated. All parties have arrived for closing and the Escrow Officer asks for the borrower’s driver’s license. It is EXPIRED! What now?

We can accept other forms of ID besides a driver’s license. The following criteria must apply for an ID to be acceptable for closing:

  • It is issued by the United States Federal Government or a United States’ State Governmental Agency. A passport or ID card issued by a foreign country is not sufficient.
  • It contains the person’s photograph.
  • It contains the person’s signature.

Can you do a Mail Away?

The answer is YES! We have a mobile notary service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the U.S. If you have a client who lives out of town, please let us know when you open title so we can arrange for this service. The cost is dependent on the location. Home Equity Loans, however, must close in our office.

Do We Need a New Survey?

A survey for a standard lot and block property usually runs about $400. You can save your client money if the seller is able to provide a survey that is acceptable to both the title company and the lender. Here are some things the title company will look for:

  • The survey is less than 10 years old.
  • The survey was made by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor.
  • The survey is dated and signed by the surveyor.
  • The survey is stamped with a seal by the surveyor.
  • The survey locates all improvements, easements, property lines, driveways, fences, and roadways.

Ultimately the use of an older survey is at the discretion of the title company and the lender. Be sure to provide a copy when opening title so it can be quickly determined whether a new survey will be required.

Quitclaim Deeds

Quitclaim Deeds, commonly mispronounced as “Quick Claim Deeds,” are usually used by individuals to transfer title to property. The problem comes about when the new owner tries to sell or refinance the property. It is the title company who has to deliver the news that the Quitclaim Deed is of little value because of the language it contains. A title company generally will not insure based on a Quitclaim Deed because its language does not indicate what interest in the property is actually being given to the new owner.