March 2024

Elite Agent Happy Hour

Last month, we had the privilege of hosting our Elite Agent happy hour, gathering the top 1% of realtors in the area to acknowledge their outstanding work from the past year. It was truly an honor to be surrounded by such accomplished professionals, and we are grateful for the opportunity to partner alongside them in their continued success. At Mid State Title, we hold our responsibility of service in high regard and cherish partnerships that share our values. As we move forward into 2024, we look forward to seeing them again next year, along with many more new faces. Let’s make 2024 a year of shared success!

Keys to Success: Yvette’s Monthly Title Tip
Protecting Your Clients After the Sale

As a real estate agent, you understand the importance of a smooth closing process. But what happens if an issue arises with a client’s property title after they’ve moved in? Title insurance can provide crucial protection for your clients in these unforeseen circumstances.

Why Title Insurance Matters:

  • Unexpected Claims: Even a thorough title search might miss hidden issues like heir disputes, boundary disagreements, or unpaid liens. Title insurance protects your clients from financial loss if such claims arise.
  • Peace of Mind: Title issues can be stressful and expensive to resolve. Title insurance offers your clients financial security and legal support to deal with these challenges.

Common Title Claims:

  • Boundary disputes: A neighbor claims your client’s property encroaches on theirs.
  • Heir challenges: An unknown heir appears and contests the sale.
  • Unpaid liens: A contractor files a lien against the property for unpaid work.

What to Advise Your Clients:

  • Encourage owners’ title insurance: Explain the benefits of purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy to protect their ownership rights.
  • Guide them through the claim process: Advise clients to submit any claims to their title insurance company promptly and to gather the necessary documents to expedite the process. 
  • Investigating the Claim: The initial investigation includes reviewing the documents submitted with the claim. The claims attorney reviews all items, including information from third-party providers, and this stage of the process is often the longest.
  • Determining a Course of Action: After reviewing your claim, the underwriter will

make one of the following determinations:  1. Accept coverage outright; Accept coverage with a reservation of rights because they think an exclusion or exception to the policy may ultimately apply, but it is unknown without further research; 2. Accept coverage in part and deny in part; Deny coverage because the claim fails to trigger a covered issue or because an exception or exclusion applies; or Deny coverage because the claim being alleged will not result in the homeowner sustaining a loss under the terms of the policy. 3. If the underwriter accepts coverage, there are several possible options for resolving and clearing the title, including Curing the title defect by recording the appropriate documents or by paying off the lien; Representing the insured at court to defend the insured’s interest; Seeking prosecution against illegal actions that resulted in the claim, for instance a fraudulent deed or a sale that defrauded another owner; Negotiating a settlement with the insured or a third-party claimant; Negotiating for the removal of an easement; Paying the diminution of the value of the property if an easement cannot be removed; and Paying the policy limits or the value of the property in the case of the complete failure of the title.

  • How Long It Takes and How You Can Help: On average, a coverage determination takes 30-40 days unless additional investigation becomes necessary. Once the coverage determination is made, the claims attorney begins the curative process, which can be very lengthy if the matter ends up in court. 

By understanding title insurance and its importance, you can empower your clients to make informed decisions and navigate unexpected challenges with confidence.

Employee Spotlight: Jackie Ucman

Introducing Jackie Ucman! Jackie has recently joined the Mid State Title team as a processor and post closer. What she cherishes most about her time here so far is the genuine appreciation she feels. Despite the high-pressure nature of title and escrow, Jackie never feels overlooked. She credits MST owner and attorney, Yvette Meldrum, for fostering a supportive environment where every employee feels valued. Originally from Pennsylvania, Jackie brings years of experience in the title industry, excelling in contracts and title clearing. With a household bustling with three children, her husband, two pugs, two cats, a frog, a snake, and a school of fish, she’s a devoted pet enthusiast. Fun fact: In her teens, Jackie raised parrots and tended llamas. We’re thrilled to have Jackie on board and can’t wait for you to meet her soon!

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