Article: Why you should read your deed.

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Q – Why should I read the Deed?

A – Real estate closings involve many documents, of varying degrees of importance.
However, the most fundamental document in any real estate closing, the deed, is often not signed by the buyers, and thus often overlooked.

If the deed reflects the buyer’s marital status, it is essential that it be correct. There have been cases in which the deed stated that two buyers were married to each other, but in actuality, they were not. This error can create tremendous implications in states that recognize common law marriage, because a couple that lives together and hold themselves out to the public as married may be considered to be legally married. Acceptance of a deed stating that they are married may be construed as holding themselves out to be married.

In community property states, property acquired during the marriage is generally presumed to be
community property. If a grantee claims that the property was his or her sole and separate property, the burden of proof is on the grantee. One way of overcoming this community property presumption is a recital in the deed that the property is the grantee’s sole and separate property. Title companies have received claims against title as a result of the failure of the vesting deed to include the appropriate sole and separate property language. For example, a spouse could claim interest or even children of a deceased spouse could assert a claim in the property.

If buyers intend to take title as joint tenants with right of survivorship, use of the proper language is essential. Language that may be sufficient to create a joint  tenancy in one state may be inadequate in another state. Using inadequate language can cause title to pass to the heirs of the deceased rather than the intended surviving joint tenant.

In a by-gone era, the deed was hand crafted by an attorney representing the buyer or seller, and reviewed and approved by both parties. Today, the deed is more often prepared by escrow or the title company by inserting the appropriate data into the necessary fields without requiring direct consultation with the grantees. This sometimes results in unintended consequences as a result of all parties not reviewing and approving.

Have vesting questions? Contact us today.

Want to know more about us…

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We specialize in Residential & Commercial Title Insurance and we work hard behind the scenes to make sure your experience with us is a satisfying one. Your success is our success.

When We Were Founded

Pacific Coast Title Company was founded in 2008 by partners whose tenure in California Title Insurance stretches back decades. Our founders handpicked Customer Service Managers, Plant Managers, & Title Officers to create the perfect internal team comprised of highly motivated and solution oriented individuals.

Underwriting Capabilities

Pacific Coast Title Company is underwritten by the nations largest underwriters which hold us to the highest Title Insurance standards. More importantly this allows us to issue a Title Insurance Policy on Residential and Commercial transactions regardless of the size of the transaction.

Employees & Branches

Currently Pacific Coast Title is experiencing rapid expansion and has 10 branches sprinkled across the Western United States. Our entire team is comprised of over 200 employees that are dedicated to helping issue a Title Insurance Policy and closing your Real Estate transaction.

Nationwide Coverage

Yep. We got that to.

Title Thursday: Forgery, A cause for alarm.

Forgery

What is forgery?

Forgery is the crime of falsely and fraudulently making or altering a legal document. It is a felony punishable by imprisonment in a state
prison. It is also an act which will cloud title to property and may result in protracted legal proceedings.

Who are the victims?

The incidence of forgery is escalating, and the victims are innocent property owners. Title industry figures reveal that over the last decade forgery losses have escalated at an alarming rate, accounting for heavy losses paid by title insurers. This indicates that the
consumer’s chances of becoming a forgery victim are the greatest ever. Forgeries affecting real property are created in a number of ways.

 

What are some examples of forgery?

 A deed may be forged by someone, often a family member or associate, in an attempt to transfer legal ownership of the property without the knowledge of the true owner.

A lender’s recorded security agreement for a loan may be eliminated by a forged instrument falsely indicating payment of the secured debt, thereby allowing another loan to be fraudulently obtained.
 A note and deed of trust may be forged by a person who then sells the note secured by the deed of trust and disappears, leaving an unsuspecting homeowner to discover the cloud on title when the purchaser of the note commences foreclosure proceedings for the nonpayment of the debt.
 A fraudulent document may be notarized by either a person impersonating a notary or a legitimate notary who fails to ascertain that the person signing the document is not the person whose name appears on the document.

 

What is being done to help prevent forgery?

The mounting trend in forgery has received serious attention. No longer may title companies concentrate only on removing risks arising from inadvertences or errors in recordings; instead, they now have the additional responsibility of contending with criminal acts. The title industry is reevaluating its title and escrow practices and strengthening notarization processes, hoping to close loopholes which forgers
might otherwise exploit. In addition, special incentives are being offered to company employees who detect forgeries during the process of title examination and escrow closings.

The title insurance industry is also working with law enforcement agencies, providing them with assistance in the prosecution of forgers by making available industry expertise and offering results of their investigations. Through improved practices and cooperation with enforcement agencies, the title industry has moved vigorously to reduce the incidence of forgery and lessen the opportunities for forgery.

What can you do to protect yourself from forgery?

What can you as a property owner do about forgery? While you may not be able to prevent a forgery, you can be protected. Title insurance provides protection against forgeries in your title which may have occurred prior to the issuance of your title insurance policy. Without this protection, you would single-handedly face the uncertainty and expense of resolving legal issues.

Pacific Coast Title Company will be happy to provide additional information about the title to your property.

 

 

New Tool: Expanded Property Report

EP

 

A new listing/listing appointment is an exciting time in the selling process of a home. Unforeseen circumstances pertaining to the property or current ownership can quickly turn that excitement into uncertainty. Our Concierge Preliminary Property Report helps  make you aware of potential obstacles that might prevent the sale of a property.

What kind of obstacles does our report look for?

  • Basic Legal / Vesting Information
  • Affidavit of Death Records
  • Possible Appraisal Restrictions
  • Tax Default and Mortgage Default
  • Possible Lending Restrictions
  • HOA Liens / Approved HUD Condos
  • Involuntary Liens (Child Support, Federal/State Tax Liens & Etc)

Want to know more? Contact your local rep to order your expanded property report.