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What is title insurance? Why do you need to purchase it?

Real estate is normally seen as a family’s most valuable asset. Needless to say, for businesses real estate also is considered one of the most important assets of commercial enterprises.  Real estate is a form of wealth that is protected by many laws.  Florida and other states have enacted real estate laws that protect one’s ownership and the improvements located on the land.  The owner, the owner’s family, and the owner’s heirs have rights or claims in and to the property that you are buying.  Third parties may also have interests against one’s own real property, which are usually reflected in the form of liens upon the property recorded by either governmental bodies, contractors, lenders, judgment creditors, the Internal Revenue Service, or various other individuals or corporations.  Unfortunately there exists persons who do not follow the law, and without certain safeguards, real estate may be sold to you without the knowledge of the party having a right or claim in and to the property.  Title Insurance exists to protect all parties to a real estate transaction.  In addition, you may purchase the real estate without having any knowledge of these rights or claims.  In either event, these rights or claims remain attached to the title to the property that you are buying until they are extinguished.

How do you find out what claims exist?

In order to determine the status of title, Vantage Property Title will conduct a diligent search of the public records for documents associated with the real estate being purchased.  Vantage Property Title will then examine those recorded documents in order to determine if there are any rights or claims that may have an impact upon the title to the property.  The title search may reveal the existence of recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title such as unpaid taxes, unsatisfied mortgages, judgments and tax liens against the current or past owners, easements, restrictions and court actions. These recorded defects, liens and encumbrances are then either accepted, resolved or extinguished prior to the closing of the transaction, depending on the terms of the contract and norms in the industry.  The title insurance will protect against any loss or damage resulting from recorded defects, liens or encumbrances upon the title that are unreported to you and which are within the scope of coverage of the particular policy issued in the transaction.

How are you protected against “hidden risks”?

“Hidden risks” are those matters, rights or claims that are not shown by the public records and, therefore, are not discoverable by a search and examination of those public records. These hidden risks may seriously threaten the value of your property or cause for you to lose your property in its entirety without compensation.  Your investment would then be lost.  Samples of hidden risks are forgery, incompetency of prior closing agents or parties to a closing, incapacity of the parties, fraudulent impersonation, and unknown errors in the records are examples of “hidden risks” which could provide a basis for a claim after you have purchased the property.  The title insurance acquired at the time of closing will protect you against these possibilities.

Do I have to renew my title insurance every year?

Unlike other forms of insurance, the original title insurance premium paid at the initial closing is your only cost as long as you or your heirs own the property.  There are no annual payments to keep your Owner’s Title Insurance Policy in force.

What is a short sale?

Some consider a Short Sale a win-win solution for the home owner and the lender.  The lender gets the highest price for a quick sale at a market price while the borrowers generally get relief from possible future legal actions and deficiency judgments.  Short Sales occur when borrowers sell their property for a sales price less than the amount owed to their lender(s) after all sales expenses, including brokerage fees.  In order for this to take place the lender(s) must accept a discounted payoff; meaning the bank(s) get paid less than the full loan amount owed. In a short sale, the home owners can get complete relief from all of their mortgage debt. The end result is the home is sold, the mortgage is satisfied (paid off) and home owners avoids a foreclosure or a bankruptcy. Perhaps even better, credit ratings will almost immediately improve because credit reports show that the mortgage was settled in full.

What do we charge the home owner to do a short sale?

Our short sale processing is FREE to the home owner.

What systems do we use for our short sale transactions?

(Patti needs to provide information for this section, including the programs we use, which banks we have particular experience with, etc.).

How much of a discount will the bank take?

That is a common question. However, the real analysis is what is the market value of the house and how much the lender can minimize its losses.

Can investment properties be short sold?

Most definitely. Any type of property can be sold through a short sale.  This depends in large part with the particular lender.

What happens if a short sale is unsuccessful?

If the bank is does not accept an offer for a short sale, you are in the same position you were in prior to attempting to negotiate a short sale.  Our goal is for the home owner to avoid foreclosure, which will affect credit more than a short sale.  Generally a foreclosure is one of the most damaging occurrences in a credit history.

What is the short sale process?

Upon receipt of a complete short sale package, (Click Here to obtain a copy of the package), if the lender does not participate with the Short Sale Systems referred to above, we will fax the complete Short Sale Package to the lender and confirm receipt.  Once the receipt is confirmed, we ask the lender with the first mortgage to order an appraisal or a Broker Price Opinion (BPO), and request that a negotiator be assigned.

Once a negotiator is assigned they have 30 business days to review the offer.  Our client is constantly informed of the progress of their Short Sale transaction through our Remote Access System.  During this time we continue to check back regularly to get a status so that we can keep everyone informed. Once they deem the offer as Bona Fide, they submit the offer to the investor (the actual owner of the mortgage) for final approval.  This can take up to 30 business days.

After an approval is issued, how do we close?

Once the approval is received, the lender will inform the parties as to the timing of closing.  It is very important to close on time so as to avoid additional fees that the bank might want to charge for a late closing.

How much does title cost?

Vantage Property Title will charge standard promulgated rates for issuing title.

How do we get paid?

Vantage will present to the lender our costs for managing the closing. There is no cost to the Seller. Each bank has its own standard allowances for closing costs. Vantage will only look to those standard allowances as compensation for managing the transaction.


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