A nice young lady called me today representing a title agency whose name suspiciously sounds a lot like a real estate office in Allegheny County.
She was looking at a title report and asked about an outstanding commonwealth lien filed against a prior owner - just checking to see if we had paid the lien as we had insured title two years ago. She implied they were getting ready to close ASAP and so I asked her to fax her title commitment since I did not see reference to a lien on the HUD or our cover notes. We have a file scanned that is over 200 pages and I'd need time to look, etc., etc. and if there is a valid lien out there I'd like to have her commitment in hand to deal with it, etc., etc., etc.
Five seconds, maybe two, after I hung up, I get another call, this time from a threatening brassy young lady who just wanted to tell me that she was ordering a payoff on that lien no matter what and I'd better be prepared to get a call from our insured......breathe........ok.......
......so, as I now had the abstract scrolled up and in front of me,
I asked, "Oh, do you mean the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania lien filed against Mr. ?" "Yes." she said.
"Oh", I said, "and are you showing the vesting as Mr. & Mrs. as husband and wife?" "Yes", she said.
"Unless you have evidence of a divorce we missed, the lien doesn't stick. It doesn't penetrate the tenancy by the entireties."
She had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I suggested she call her title company and she reluctantly agreed though she snarled through her teeth that she was sure I was dead wrong.
In the course of the conversations both women told me they had to order the title commitment. Gee, isn't the preparation and issuance of the title commitment a core service performed by the title agent?
So, this likely Realtor owned controlled business arrangement is manned by a couple of inexperience, untrained women who are prepared to force a seller, my insured, to pay for a lien that is not valid. They were prepared to push him to pay for this lien without giving any opportunity for a reasonable defense from his title company.
Granted, our insured has an obligation to say no and call us himself but let's just say that these women are pushy - the one certainly was - and they convince him he has no alternative.
These women my friends, are dangerous. These woman are title agents owned and operated by a Realtor whose sole interest is closing the deal fast and without regard to the interests of the parties involved.
It's a down right dirty shame that snot nosed sham operators can get away with this crap and no one is doing a damn thing about it. The title underwriter who is doing all the work for this sham operation should at the very least tell them to NOT pretend in any way that they understand anything. They should keep their mouths shut and just cash the checks.
Oh, I forgot. It's entirely possible that they are looking at a title underwriter title report that was automatically generated and perhaps they are looking at conditions generated by a machine.
So you combine a machine generated title report with a snot-nosed-brat-don't know-nothing sham operator and what do you get?
A consumer in the hands of an imbecile predator.
Gee, what a rosy future.