I have a transaction we closed and insured through First American using their "Fast Web" title abstract program. This was before I realized what a piece of crap search product it was. This transaction closed in 2005. I had bought into the idea that FATIC would back the abstract and relieve me of the abstract liability. Gee what a deal.
I am now advised that the lot number in my deed and the prior deed is purportedly incorrect. FATIC only provides a current deed with the search and so I called their Quakertown office to get the chain data and perhaps copies of prior documents. They were kind enough to take the call right away and were able to look at the archive immediately. That was impressive, BUT their file as a naked as my file is. They have no chain back beyond the last deed.
They charged me $135 for a full search and they did a stupid-ass current owner which probably cost them $10.
So, I have two choices. I can pass off my customer to FATIC's claim office and say FATIC - YOU figure it out; OR
I can pay an abstractor to research the title -at my own expense - and try to figure out what reality is and how to fix it.
You know me by now. What do YOU think I'm gonna do?
That's right. I'm gonna pay - out of my pocket - to have the title searched back to find the problem and fix it IF it is a reasonably easy fix. If it's a fix that involves a quiet title action, I'll pass it on to FATIC to pay that bill and handle it. I'm hoping - for the sake of my customer - that it's something I can work out.
NOW HEAR THIS ALL YOU FOLKS WHO SAY TITLE INSURANCE ISN'T WORTH IT. Any fix that I do myself is done because the consumer bought owner coverage. If I fix this without turning it into FATIC it will NEVER show up as a claim. GOT THAT?
The work done by traditional title insurance agents in claim avoidance is what you pay for when you buy title insurance.