Saturday, March 17, 2007

60 Something Ways To Lose Your Property

You don't want problems from prior ownerships to interfere with your rights to your property. And you don't want to pay the potentially ruinous cost of defending your property rights in court. A title insurance policy is your best protection against potential title defects, which can remain hidden despite the most thorough search of public records and the most careful escrow or closing. For a one-time premium First American agrees to reimburse you for loss due to defects existing prior to the issue date of your policy, up to the policy amount. And, should it be needed, the policy also provides for the cost of legal defense of your title. The standard coverage policy protects you against such potential defects as:

1.Forged deeds, mortgages, satisfactions or releases.
2.Deed by person who is insane or mentally incompetent.
3.Deed by minor (may be disavowed).
4.Deed from corporation, unauthorized under corporate bylaws or given under falsified corporate resolution.
5.Deed from partnership, unauthorized under partnership agreement.
6.Deed from purported trustee, unauthorized under trust agreement.
7.Deed to or from a "corporation" before incorporation, or after loss of corporate charter.
8.Deed from a legal non-entity (styled, for example, as achurch, charity or club).
9.Deed by person in a foreign country, vulnerable to challenge as incompetent, unauthorized or defective under foreign laws.
10.Claims resulting from use of "alias" or fictitious namestyle by a predecessor in title.
11.Deed challenged as being given under fraud, undue influenceor duress.
12.Deed following non-judicial foreclosure, where required procedure was not followed.
13.Deed affecting land in judicial proceedings (bankruptcy, receivership, probate, conservatorship, dissolution ofmarriage), unauthorized by court.
14.Deed following judicial proceedings, subject to appeal or further court order.
15.Deed following judicial proceedings, where all necessary parties were not joined.
16.Lack of jurisdiction over persons or property in judicial proceedings.
17.Deed signed by mistake (grantor did not know what wassigned).
18.Deed executed under falsified power of attorney.
19.Deed executed under expired power or attorney (death, disability or insanity of principal).
20.Deed apparently valid, but actually delivered after death of grantor or grantee, or without consent of grantor.
21.Deed affecting property purported to be separate property of grantor, which is in fact community or jointly-ownedproperty.
22.Undisclosed divorce of one who conveys as sole heir of a deceased former spouse.
23.Deed affecting property of deceased person, not joining all heirs.
24.Deed following administration of estate of missing person, who later re-appears.
25.Conveyance by heir or survivor of a joint estate, who murdered the decedent.
26.Conveyances and proceedings affecting rights of service-member protected by the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act.
27.Conveyance void as in violation of public policy (payment of gambling debt, payment for contract to commit crime, or conveyance made in restraint of trade).
28.Deed to land including "wetlands" subject to public trust(vesting title in government to protect public interest in navigation, commerce, fishing and recreation).
29.Deed from government entity, vulnerable to challenge as unauthorized or unlawful.
30.Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to acquisition of note by bona fide purchaser (without notice of satisfaction).
31.Ineffective release of prior satisfied mortgage due to bankruptcy of creditor prior to recording of release (avoiding powers in bankruptcy).
32.Ineffective release of prior mortgage of lien, as fraudulently obtained by predecessor in title.
33.Disputed release of prior mortgage or lien, as given under mistake or misunderstanding.
34.Ineffective subordination agreement, causing junior interest to be reinstated to priority.
35.Deed recorded, but not properly indexed so as to be locatable in the land records.
36.Undisclosed but recorded federal or state tax lien.
37.Undisclosed but recorded judgment or spousal/child support lien.
38.Undisclosed but recorded prior mortgage.
39.Undisclosed but recorded notice of pending lawsuit affecting land.
40.Undisclosed but recorded environmental lien.
41.Undisclosed but recorded option, or right of first refusal, to purchase property.
42.Undisclosed but recorded covenants or restrictions, with (or without) rights of reverter.
43.Undisclosed but recorded easements (for access, utilities, drainage, airspace, views) benefiting neighboring land.
44.Undisclosed but recorded boundary, party wall or setback agreements.
45.Errors in tax records (mailing tax bill to wrong party resulting in tax sale, or crediting payment to wrong property).
46.Erroneous release of tax or assessment liens, which are later reinstated to the tax rolls.
47.Erroneous reports furnished by tax officials (not binding local government).
48.Special assessments which become liens upon passage of a law or ordinance, but before recorded notice or commencement of improvements for which assessment is made.
49.Adverse claim of vendor's lien.
50.Adverse claim of equitable lien.
51.Ambiguous covenants or restrictions in ancient documents.
52.Misinterpretation of wills, deeds and other instruments.
53.Discovery of will of supposed intestate individual, after probate.
54.Discovery of later will after probate of first will.
55.Erroneous or inadequate legal descriptions.
56.Deed to land without a right of access to a public street or road.
57.Deed to land with legal access subject to undisclosed but recorded conditions or restrictions.
58.Right of access wiped out by foreclosure on neighboring land.
59.Patent defects in recorded instruments (for example, failure to attach notarial acknowledgment or a legal description).
60.Defective acknowledgment due to lack of authority of notary (acknowledgment taken before commission or after expiration of commission).
61.Forged notarization or witness acknowledgment.
62.Deed not properly recorded (wrong county, missing pages or other contents, or without required payment).
63.Deed from grantor who is claimed to have acquired title through fraud upon creditors of a prior owner.

We're First American: Financially strong and reputation-proud. Let us help you avoid title problems. (For some true "stories," taken from actual Archive claim files, visit the "Claims Chronicles" reference section of our website.)

Friday, March 16, 2007

Escrow...How Does She Do It?

I was asked by a good client many years ago, "what is it that my escrow officer does for me and my clients?" She said, "I open the escrow, you pick up a check, we get a pre, my clients sign, and you bring me a commission." Well she was unaware that there is a long list of things the escrow team in my branch does on the average resale transaction. After you review this blog, you may wish to deliver flowers and wine to your escrow officer at your next closing! It takes a special person to be an Escrow Officer!

Let's visit what the escrow officers in my branch do for you and your clients.

Escrow Procedures on a Typical Resale Transaction

a. Opens escrow and orders preliminary report from title department
b. Receipts in initial buyers deposit to escrow and sends copies of receipt for deposit to both agents and new lender/loan agent
c. Sends agents or clients "So you're buying" and So you're selling" brochures
d. Reviews all title issues upon receipt of preliminary report
e. Arranges to have preliminary report sent to sellers and buyers agents and loan agent
f. Sends statements of identity to seller / buyer as needed
g. Orders payoff demands on all existing deeds of trust and liens as needed
h. Clears all title issues as needed - Examples Affidavit - Death of Joint Tenant Interspousal
i. Transfer Deed and Instructions from Spouse
j. Orders Confirming Sale Independent Administration Act
k. Releases of Internal Revenue Service Liens
l. Releases of State of California / Franchise Tax Board Liens
m. Releases of Abstracts of JudgmentReleases of Child Support / Alimony Support Judgments
through the District Attorneys Office or through Attorneys for Respondent / Defendant
n.Releases of Postponed Property Taxes
o. Releases of Delinquent Property Taxes
p. Receipts into escrow all inspections / billings affecting property - Examples
Termite Inspection / Termite CertificationRoof Inspection / Roof CertificationStructural /
Physical Inspection / Pool Inspection
q. Arranges for home warranty billing / contract to be deposited to escrow
r. Assists loan broker / lender with obtaining all information needed from escrow holder prior to drawing of loan documentation
s. Communicates with fire / hazard insurance agent and arranges to have insurance coverage and billing deposited into escrow
t. Communicates with listing / selling agents with progress reports as needed
u. Arranges for pick up / federal express of loan documents
v. Verifies final terms with listing / selling agents
w. Draws sellers and buyers escrow instructions and closing documentation
x. Makes sure we have complied with all Cal-Firpta and Firpta requirements
y. Sets up appointments for signature of sellers and buyers escrow instructions with agents]
z. Signs off sellers and buyers

Sends request for loan funds documentation to new lender (s)
2. Prepares recording voucher for County recorders office
3. Prepares request for Owners and Lenders policies of title insurance
4. Sends documents to record to County recorders office
5. Arranges for wiring / pickup of lenders and buyers funds
6. Advises both listing and selling agents that loan has funded and has been released for recording
7. Upon meeting all requirements and receipt of all funds, releases file to record with County recorder's office
8. Upon confirmation of recording disburses all funds in file to proper parties
9. Advises sellers and buyers agents we have closed their transaction
10. Prepares final HUD-1 closing statement
11. Delivers broker, buyers and sellers checks as per instructions
12. Sends via federal express all loan payoffs
13. Sends closing letters to all parties in connection with the escrow
14. Prepares 1099's for Internal Revenue Service
15. Completes internal documentation in file
16. Forwards policies of title insurance to proper parties
17. Calendars / monitors any and all "funds held" items
18. Upon release of all "funds held" and completion of all internal functions the escrow file will be sent to storage for safe keeping

When you open your next escrow, give us a try, and let us show you why your business,
should be our business! Think First, Think First American!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Escrow Officer or Air Traffic Control....

Did you know, some of the best tools that come from affiliates in the Real Estate Industry, are not actually tools at all? Some of the very best tools in the wrong hands are useless or harmful. Take a doctor for example. You can give an unskilled physician a scalpel, (it is one of his tools), and ask him to perform heart surgery. Isn't this part of a doctors tool kit?

In deed, the right tools in the wrong hands can actually cause more harm than good! The Realtools I am blogging about today, are about a different kind of tool you should have in your toolbox. The best tools are, People with Experience! Three simple words, but try to see these words, with the power they truly carry.

Think of all the people you work with in this industry and abroad. When is experience really important to you, and when is it not? Let's start with when it is crucial. How about your surgery, your root canal, your airplane pilot, and maybe your 1st tandem jump from 10,000 feet. I know you'll agree, each of these, are areas in our lives, where experience carries the absolute most value.

There are many areas of our daily lives where we expect good service and experience. It's only when we get bad service, or an in-experienced person, that we become in tuned to this expectation. Buying a house, getting a loan, needing an appraisal, purchasing home warranty, providing homeowners insurance, trusting the termite inspection, and having faith in the comparables, are all areas we need to have experienced and knowledgeable players on our teams. The one area of Real Estate that requires crucial expertise, is someone who deals with all the above, and more.

That's right, I am talking about your escrow officer. This is your Realtool for Realtors today. First off, why do you think they are called officers? Would you rather have an experienced police officer protecting you, or a non-experienced one? Secondly, they are the next best thing to an air traffic controller. Why? Because the escrow officer is the one who has to make sure everyone on the plane lands safely and is happy.

What a Tool! A person who can communicate effectively, turn challenges into solutions, deal with multiple personalities and emotions, and remain neutral during the whole process. She has agents on both sides of the sale, buyer and seller, lender, creditors, appraisers, home warranty, inspectors, insurance and many more that she has to work with on a single home sale. On top of that, the escrow officer is governed by the DOI (dept. of insurance), HUD (Respa), and God himself to make sure everything is done by the book. Did I mention that an experienced escrow officer is nothing less than a miracle worker?

So when you think of a tool that is critical to your success in Real Estate, you should already know that the Lender is Key, but the escrow officer is the Lock, in your realtools toolbox. First American Title Company in Vallejo California, has over 60 years combined experience, 45 of those years with First American. Put us to the test! With this many years "experience", we have the products, tools and services you'll need, to get transactions closed.

Sometimes, there may be some bumps in the road, but just like turbulence on a plane, you can trust that our escrow officer (pilots) will pull you out, and land you safely, every time. Let our experience and resources help you and your clients with owning the American Dream. Think First, Think First American Title Company for ALL your title and escrow needs. Since 1889, we have been protecting the rights of homeowners all across the nation. We rely on our "experience" to see you through. Shouldn't You? First American? The only way to fly!

Click HERE for The
"Experienced" Escrow Guy