Recognizing the Red Flags of Forgery

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

Sadly, the incidence of forgery is escalating, and the victims are innocent property owners. Title industry figures reveal that over the last decade forgery losses tripled, accounting now for over 20% of the losses paid by title insurers.

The attached piece provides a list of Red Flags that may help with detection and prevention and at the very least, encourage further investigation to ensure the validity of the transaction.

As always, we remind you to request a property profile from our Resource Center at the very beginning of your listing appointment and/or presenting an offer to provide you with a clear picture of all issues and potential problems that can stand in the way of a successful closing.

Click here for Red Flags Forgery Handout

Wonder why you need title insurance?

title problemsHave you ever wondered why you need title insurance? Your home may be new to you, but every property has a history. A thorough title search can help uncover any title defects tied to your property. And, subject to the terms of the policy, your title insurance provides protection for you from title problems that may become known after you close your transaction.

Follow this link to review 10 Common Title Problems.

When you buy a home, make sure you’re protecting that investment with title insurance.

Western Resources Title’s Property Profile Summary Report!

profile1All of our property profiles include an easy-to-read summary of critical items that may affect the sale of a property.  No more need to decipher confusing documents!  This straight forward, easy-to-read format puts everything you need to know at your fingertips.

  • Current Deeds of Trust
  • Property Taxes
  • HOA and Mechanics Liens
  • Lis Pendens
  • Foreclosure Activity

 

Make it easy on yourself and order your next property profile from Western Resources Title today!

Click Here for Sample

What is Probate?

legalProbate, which stems from the classic Latin term meaning “to prove” or “proven”, is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property either under a valid will or when the decedent has died intestate (without a will) to their heirs and beneficiaries.

Probate is also the process by which the property of a decedent is re-titled. As with any legal proceeding, there are technical aspects to probate and trust administration.

Here are just a few:

  • Creditors need to be notified and legal notices published.
  • Trustees need to be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors’ rights into account.
  • A Petition to appoint a personal representative (executor/administrator) may need to be filed and Letters of Administration obtained.
  • If the estate is not automatically devised to a surviving spouse through joint tenancy or is not held within a trust, the estate will need to be probated whether or not the decedent had a valid will.

Please note that this is just a brief and informative overview of what can be a very lengthy and involved probate process. Click Here for detailed information.

Most important to remember is that probate and trust administration laws vary from state to state. For answers to your technical probate questions, please consult the proper professional.

Title Term: CC&Rs – What does it mean?

As part of the disclosure process, once a prospective buyer has an accepted offer on California real estate they will need to review the CC&Rs (if there are any) that exist for the home being purchased.

CC&Rs stands for Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions
Sounds complicated, but it’s not really…although they can be VERY lengthy with LOTS of legal terms. You will find them most commonly in subdivisions/housing tracts and they are generally recorded documents.

Simply put, CC&Rs are a description of things a homeowner can and cannot do with their property on the area in which the property resides.

Covenants are promises to do or not do certain things.
The homeowner might be prohibited from parking an RV on the street or in the driveway (a separate area would normally be provided).

Conditions are pretty much the same as covenants, except that it refers to either the monetary penalty, court injunction or action taken against the homeowner for violating a covenant. A condition can also specify an action that a homeowner must take in order to correct a covenant violation.

Restrictions limit the activities of homeowners
(e.g., You can’t turn your property into a farm) to assure that the property use is consistent with the land use in the general area.

If there is a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) they have the authority to enforce these rules. Please Note: CC&Rs DO NOT report on the status or solvency of their governing HOA.

CC&Rs ARE NOT NEGOTIABLE and their review is part of the real estate contractual process. A preliminary title report will indicate that CC&Rs exist but will not specify them. Digital copies of these LENGTHY public records are obtainable at the start of the escrow process.

Avoiding the 11th Hour Problems

Our goal is to get a real estate transaction closed on time and insure clear title. There are several items that can delay the closing of a transaction.  Some show up when the Preliminary Title Report is prepared while others may be discovered during a conversation with the owner or other agent.

It is critical that you bring these to the attention of your escrow and title professionals
immediately. These items may require added clearance and processing time for escrow and title.

• Establishing the Fact of Death of an Owner of Record
• The Use and Proper Execution of a Power of Attorney
• Liens and/or Judgments—Federal or State Taxes, Spousal Support, Child Support, etc
• Probate
• Bankruptcy
• Transfer or Loans Involving Corporations or Partnerships
• Buyer or Seller Traveling or Living Outside of the United States
• Changes in Buyers
• Change in Policy Coverage
• Recently Built or Remodeled Properties
• Family or Business Trust
• Property Recently Foreclosed Upon
• Physical Inspection Findings—Encroachments, Off-Record Easements
• Proper Execution of Documents—Grantees Compare to Trustors, Proper Jurats and Notary Seals.
• Short Sale with Multiple Loans

Happy 4th of July!

Screen shot 2013-07-03 at 5.59.15 PMOn behalf of all your title partners at Western Resources Title, we wish you and your loved ones a safe and enjoyable 4th of July Holiday.

At WRT we believe that service should be hands-on and local.  We have come to be known as the most expedient resource in the title industry, but did you know that ALL of our work is done locally?  From the searching and abstracting of a preliminary title report to the issuance of a title policy, all of this work is done in your back yard and not some distant land or time zone.

Thank you for supporting WRT, an 100% American Made company and product!

What you should check for on your prelims

Understanding Critical Preliminary Title Report Issues

Attached in the link below are some critical items you will want to look for when you receive your Preliminary Title Report.  These will require immediate attention.  Allitems must be resolved in the manner noted below eachitem.  A delay in closing may result without immediate attention.

If you have any questions please let us know, at Western Resources Title, service is our number one priority.  We make sure that every client is taken care of quickly and efficiently every day.

Click Here for PDF

What are Supplemental Taxes?

Many questions have started to recirculate about Supplemental Taxes: those quirky, specially assessed property taxes that often catch new homeowners by surprise. While Supplemental Taxes are not prorated during the course of an escrow, they are brought to the attention of new homeowners through standard transaction disclosures. Even still, it is always good practice for selling agents to provide their clients with as much information on the topic as possible.

Click Here for FAQ’s Regarding Supplemental Taxes