All posts tagged: title claim

Please, Please, Please Get A Survey!!!

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I am not making this up, though I wish I were. Maybe by sharing this story I can prevent you from making the same mistake of not getting a survey when you purchase property. (Please note that certain aspects of the story have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.)

This is the tale of an older lady who thought she was getting a deal on a distressed property with a house. She paid $35,000 in cash and closed without a survey…because she didn’t need one because she was paying cash—you only need a survey if there’s a bank involved, right? She moved into the house and lived there for six months before she found out what she had actually paid for was the four acres of vacant land behind the house.

The house had been winterized, there was a sign out front, and the buyer lady was using a Realtor. The buyer paid cash for a Bank-Owned Property (or REO), and closed without a survey. The legal description of the contract used the abbreviated tax reference. The bank had winterized the wrong house, and six months after the buyer was in full possession, the couple from California who owned the house politely informed the lady that she was in her house.

The lady had purchased the four-acre piece of property behind the one acre up front where the house was. Now she’s going to have to pay another $64,900 for a home and land she thought she already owned. She didn’t have a clue. She had paid $35,000 for four acres of vacant land worth about $11,000—an expensive mistake! She just spent $29,900 to find out what a $300 survey could have told her. What she thought was a good deal turned out to be a nightmare all because she wanted to save $300 on a survey.

For the bank, “AS IS” is “Where Is.”

Please, please, please don’t make this mistake—GET A SURVEY!!! Without a survey, title insurance can’t cover you for this kind of error. Spend a few hundred dollars on a survey, even if it’s a cash deal—ESPECIALLY IF IT’S A CASH DEAL. Spend a few hundred dollars on a survey to save thousands of dollars in a mistake.

If you are paying cash, you need a survey more than ever because your cash is the money at risk.

Really this is Reason Number 2 to get title insurance (Remember: the Number 1 Reason is because it’s expensive to be innocent!). It shows up on my true story list of “1001 Reasons to Get Title Insurance” as Number 7.

Stephen CollinsPlease, Please, Please Get A Survey!!!
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What You Don’t See Can Really Bug You

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In June 2014, my band OE-2-KB (Old Enough-2-Know Better) had a gig along the St. Johns River.  It had rained all day, but Eddie said he had a thousand-foot tarp that we could put over everything.  So we started setting up and we were watching the radar…and wondering if that tarp could really cover all of our band equipment.

There were a few little blind mosquitoes around, but they didn’t bite, so no big deal.  We played our first set, took a break, and came back.  By then it was very obvious the atmosphere had changed—there were blind mosquitoes everywhere!!  At first I thought they were just around the lights, but they were everywhere!!  Still, they didn’t bite, so we started our second set.

It was like the plagues of Moses—the blind mosquitoes were in our mouths, in our ears, and all over the keyboards, the guitars, the drums.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  My brother, Rusty, had pages of music stuck together with dead bug bodies.  We had been worried about the rain, but what we didn’t see coming that stopped the music.  The same can be true of real estate title claims.

Owner’s Title Insurance addresses not just the title problems you can see in public records, but also the hidden risk.  

Home ownership should be hassle-free.  You should be able to check the radar, have a big tarp handy to cover everything, but even so, challenges to your ownership can happen.

Most property disputes are something small—not a big claim like fraud or forgery on a deed, or someone trying to claim ownership of the entire property.  Usually it’s a matter of feet, an encroachment.  It’s the freak bizarre things, and you just don’t see them coming—that’s why you get title insurance.

Title Insurance provides an initial service when you pay for it—a title search—and provides a secondary service—legal representation and / or compensation of the policy amount—at no additional charge to you should the title come into question.   Title Insurance can’t always prevent an attack on home ownership rights, but it can shield the Homeowner from court costs in a legal defense of property title.

Title Insurance helps keep title claims from bugging you.

(If you’re looking for OE-2-KB, you can keep up with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OE2KB or our band website at http://www.oe-2-kb.com.)

 

Stephen CollinsWhat You Don’t See Can Really Bug You
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Sense of Wisdom & Humor

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Why are there more jokes about attorneys than about title companies?  Because nobody understands what title companies do, answers my attorney brother, Rusty Collins.  Now that’s funny, but it’s sad too.  You can lose your sense of humor real fast if you lack a sense of wisdom about real estate ownership.  Without knowledge of title insurance, your stake is at stake, the land you own and the money you put into it.

Title Insurance helps to protect your financial investment in real estate.

Title Insurance is a policy that protects the real estate owner from financial loss due to a challenge against his or her real estate ownership.  Without it, you could lose your property and your financial investment.  In simple terms, Title Insurance works in two ways:

  1. Prevention
  2. Protection

Though title insurance works mostly through prevention, it offers security via financial protection from the massive costs of litigation and other legal expenses should a problem, challenge, or complication to a Florida homeowner’s title arise.  No matter how much effort is put into this prevention, bad things can still happen.  It’s expensive to be right when someone thinks you’re wrong.  Owner’s Title Insurance provides and pays for all costs associated with a title claim (whether through settlement, legal defense, and / or reimbursement of the policy amount to the homeowner if that defense does not prevail).

Knowledge is realizing the difference between an acceptable risk and an unacceptable risk.

Wisdom is taking precautions to avoid unacceptable risk.

If you value your land, I encourage you to learn more about Title Insurance, and Land Title offers a variety of free educational resources, including the following:

  • Land Title Blog at www.GoLandTitle.com
  • “Land Title Talk” radio show every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month on 102.1 FM WFOY (http://www.1021news.com) from 8 to 9 am. Listeners are encouraged to call in with your real estate-related or legal questions or comments
  • Call or stop by the Land Title Office. If you have questions about a title policy and what it can do for you, or if you need to find out if your property even has a title policy, we’ll be glad to assist you at no charge.  Land Title is located in the Lewis Point Plaza at 2495 US Highway 1 South, St. Augustine, or call us at (904) 797-9600.

 

Stephen CollinsSense of Wisdom & Humor
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Title Challenges in Family Transactions

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Most property title challenges come from two situations.  Right now in the current economic climate, we get a lot of title claims in foreclosure properties.  The second major source of title challenges is from family transactions in real estate, and this type of title claim is around in all economic environments.

Whenever you interact with family, you take shortcuts because, hey, it’s family.  Maybe dad told you to do it, but then as soon as the head-of-household is gone, other family members may see things differently.  For instance, the woman accused of coercing her father into signing the deed over to her.  She took care of him, but now all the family is suspicious of her.  These things only surface when dad passes on.

Title Insurance cannot prevent the risk of all title claims; however, an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy does pay to fight or settle such claims.  Even if you are inheriting property that’s been in the family 50 years, always get a title policy on the property.

 

Stephen CollinsTitle Challenges in Family Transactions
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