Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Both are great questions, John.
Yes, you can buy owner title insurance later if you did not buy it when you made the purchase. The title agent will need to re-examine title and then the premium should be based upon market value of the property. In PA, if you don't have a current appraisal, we would work out a market value using the tax assessment. Also, in PA our title rates are regulated. They may not be in your state, so be sure to shop around and get quotes in writing.
Unsettled or unsatisfied mortgages are one of the most common post-closing issues title insurance companies deal with. Your friend should call their title agent and also file a formal claim directly with the title underwriting company. That's the company whose name and logo are on the policy jacket.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Many of our customers, particularly our customers involved in commercial transactions, have been contacting us with questions about the financial strength of LandAmerica's two major title insurance companies, Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company and Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation.
It is important to remember that while an affiliate of these underwriters, LandAmerica 1031 Exchange Services Company, Inc. ("LES"), had problems liquidating guaranteed securities, our title insurance companies continue to do business and have adequate surplus and reserves to meet our customers' needs.
These problems do not affect our title insurance companies, as LandAmerica underwriters, Lawyers Title and Commonwealth, have over $300 million in combined statutory surplus. We have put together the attached spreadsheet, which was taken from publicly filed documents, to allow you to see for yourselves that the underwriters remain competitive with other major U. S. title companies.
We appreciate your business, and we are working hard to earn your continued trust. Please call and we'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Here's what I think. I think the folks at the top of Fidelity, First Am, Old Rep, and Stewart ought to consider what the failure of a major underwriter means to THEM and then do something to stop it.
Insurance is all about trust and stability. If an industry shows vulnerability beyond the capabilities of the public's ability to comprehend, the industry is doomed.
Do we want more doom?
Doom da doom doom doom doom.
I don't but I can't do a darn thing about it.
I have hope that decision-makers at the highest levels in the big title insurance firms are thinking big picture and not just selfish survival.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) is up in arms over the recently updated Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA). The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) revision to the Good Faith Estimate (GFE), a simplified three-paged document designed to help borrowers better understand the terms and conditions of their home loan, has the NAMB President Marc Savitt promising, “We are not going to stand for this,” wrote National Mortgage News.
When NAMB came into the mortgage wholesale seen, as I remember, they walked, talked and acted like hard money lenders. NAMB put their hard money arms out and while trying to go their membership, swallowed up the business of wholesale origination and took the framework of traditional and reputable mortgage brokers with them.
NAMB whether you encouraged bad practices or simply did nothing to stop them, I don't give a darn. All I can say is that you marched the business of mortgage brokerage to a cliff and played the horns till everyone fell off.
You are not needed here anymore. Go away. Mortgage lenders can try to re-build wholesale mortgage lending without anymore of your bright ideas. Consumers were not well served by your counsel or your membership. I hope you have no political pull with the new administration. I hope the Obama administration puts the interests of consumers first and your greedy needs last.
In the following press release Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today (11/18/200) announced that she has filed seven new lawsuits against so-called mortgage “rescue” companies and warned consumers about an alarming rise in these scams that prey on vulnerable homeowners on the verge of foreclosure. Madigan urged consumers to use caution when seeking help if they are at risk of losing their homes and to seek reputable sources for assistance.
“Consumers need to resist offers of a ‘rescue,’” Madigan said. “These scam artists prey on desperate homeowners who are struggling to save their homes. I urge consumers to avoid ‘rescue’ offers and, instead, reach out to trusted sources for help. My office assists homeowners attempting to avoid foreclosure. Anyone looking for help should call us immediately.”
I just came in contact with one of these scams this week. A reader of this blog contacted me to ask about an offer a "rescue" company had made to some people in foreclosure. These folks were being asked for $2000 up front, non-refundable, all for this company to try to save them but with no promises.Wisely, our fellow reader recognized the signs of a scam and assisted these folks by encouraging them to call their lender directly. Guess what? They got a mortgage loan modification AND they didn't pay their desperately needed $2000 for the privilege.
GREAT JOB YOU ANGEL!!! I am so proud of you.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Obama administration is likely to try to go well beyond the new Respa rules and look more comprehensively at disclosures lenders are required to make to borrowers, said Howard Glaser, a mortgage industry consultant who served as a senior HUD official in the Clinton administration. "This won't be viewed as sufficient to restore borrower confidence in the mortgage process," Mr. Glaser said. Read more...