Wednesday, September 24, 2008

query: I cannot find my title insurance policy.

Unfortunately, that may be a problem.  Hopefully, you have your HUD-1 Settlement Statement.  The HUD-1 will identify the settlement agent/title agent on the first page in the top section.  Start by contacting the title agent.  They are the ones who issue the policy in most instances.

If the title agency is no longer in business or not helpful, look on page two of the HUD-1 in the 1100 section.  You should see the name of a title insurance company near the title insurance premium.  If the HUD-1 was prepared properly, that is the title underwriter.  The title underwriter is a huge company and they will have an almost impossible time finding your policy BUT having a HUD-1 in hand showing that you paid a premium for a policy is evidence of insurance.

If the title agent is out of business, there's a good chance they never sent a title policy to you anyway, so having the HUD-1 as proof of payment is important.  If you also have a copy of your title insurance commitment, you've got an open and shut case and the title underwriter can't ignore you.

Consumers, are you seeing the picture, here?  YOU, unfortunately, must be a careful shopper for title insurance services.  I know, that stinks, but it is reality.  I run a great title insurance agency in a business full of shoddy characters.  It didn't used to be that way but title insurance failed at the same time the mortgage business failed.  They allowed thieves and creeps and ignorant slobs into our business with very little oversight.  The system is still flushing out the bad so be careful.

Always get your title insurance commitment BEFORE you close and review it carefully.  Make sure you understand what is and what is not covered.  Put it in a safe place.

Always get your HUD-1 - fully signed by everyone - at closing.  Put it in a safe place.

Always follow-up after closing - give it 60 days or so - to make certain you get your owner policy.  Check to make certain the exceptions are the same as those in the commitment - nothing added that was not expected.  Put it in a safe place.

Got it?

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