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The Basic Principles of Betterment
Sometimes, when people build things on land that make the land more valuable, they do so under a mistaken belief that they own the land they are improving, when in fact someone else actually owns the land. Does the true owner get to keep the valuable improvements without compensating the person who mistakenly improved the property? The answer is, of course, it depends, but some basic principles are common to most states.
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First American: Existing Home Sales Continue to Underperform Potential
First American Financial Corporation has released First American’s proprietary Potential Home Sales model for the month of April 2016, showing that the market for existing-home sales is underperforming its potential by 4.1 percent or an estimated 232,000 seasonally adjusted, annualized rate (SAAR) of sales, an improvement over the last month’s revised performance gap of -7.6 percent or 418,000 (SAAR) sales.
Stewart Title Announces Denver Hire
Stewart Title announced today that David Gaines has joined the Stewart Title Commercial Services Denver office as business development officer. He will be responsible for growing Stewart’s commercial business by developing and maintaining new business relationships and sales locally, regionally and nationally.
Capitol Lien
NAR: Existing Home Sales Rise for Second Consecutive Month
Despite ongoing inventory shortages and faster price growth, existing-home sales sustained their recent momentum and moved higher for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors. A surge in sales in the Midwest and a decent increase in the Northeast offset smaller declines in the South and West.
Quick links
Consumer agency takes aim at deals that cost home buyers extra money
Home buyers usually don't have a clue about the existence of under-the-table marketing kickback deals, and they can end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars extra at closings as a result.
Can't Pay or Won't Pay? Unemployment, Negative Equity, and Strategic Default
A study purports to show that strategic defaults rarely occur.
Nevada judge hands down prison sentence to Utah businessman
A federal judge in Nevada has sentenced a Utah man to nearly three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to embezzling about $4 million from escrow accounts linked to his title insurance company.
Colorado now has a Title Insurance Commission
Colorado now has a Title Insurance Commission, which will advise and propose rules to state Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar.
ALTA: This is where the CFPB got title insurance wrong with TRID
Requires providing wrong information to consumers.
U.S. Rep. French Hill: CFPB Must Provide More Detail Before Going Retail on Know Before You Owe
Addressing more than 250 attendees Monday during the American Land Title Association (ALTA) 2016 Federal Conference & Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., Congressman French Hill (AR-02) stressed that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) should provide additional formal guidance to help industry comply with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID), or the Know Before You Owe, rule.
MBA Weekly Report: Mortgage Applications Decrease Slightly
Mortgage applications decreased 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 13, 2016.
Stuck With Each Other
Sometimes, people who jointly own a piece of property no longer get along, and one of the joint owners wants to split the property rather than own the whole thing jointly. Laws exist to take care of this situation in most cases, but sometimes, the estranged joint owners may find themselves stuck with each other, as happened in a recent Indiana case.
Tennessee Title Company Owner Gets 33 Months in Prison
A Tennessee title company owner has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison in connection to a fraud he perpetrated at his title company in which he stole over two million dollars that customers had entrusted to the company to close their real estate transactions.
South Carolina Supreme Court: Rubber Stamp Closing Attorneys Are Violating Ethical Rules
In states where only attorneys may close real estate transactions, there may be a temptation to cut costs by limiting the attorney’s participation to cursory reviews of the transaction that appear to be more of a “rubber stamp” than true oversight that ensures the integrity of the transaction. The South Carolina Supreme Court recently pushed back against rubber stamp attorneys.
The Full Credit Bid Rule and Claims Against a Third Party
In some states, if a lender submits a bid for the full amount of its mortgage at a foreclosure sale, it is prohibited from later seeking a deficiency judgment against the defaulted borrower—the lender is effectively prohibited from claiming that the property is worth less than its bid. But does the bid prevent the lender from claiming that the property is worth less than its bid in a lawsuit against its title insurer?
2025 Title Insurance Industry Performance in Graphs
In 2015, the business of selling title insurance continued to strengthen, according to industry financial data recently released by ALTA. Title insurers performed better in nearly every major metric.
How a Plaintiff Gets Nothing When Even the Defendant Concedes Owing Something
It’s possible to win absolutely nothing in a lawsuit, even though both sides agree that the defendant owes the plaintiff something. A title insurance policyholder just found that out, in a case where both sides agree that a title defect covered under the policy caused the policyholder’s property to lose value.
On the Blogs

Title Industry tasked with identifying money launderers
CHARLENE PERRY's Blog
2016/01/14
0 comments

TRID and it's impact on abstractors
CHARLENE PERRY's Blog
2015/10/05
3 comments

9th Circuit Reverses; Suit Goes Forward re: Mtg Loan Debt Collectors
john gault's Blog
2015/07/20
1 comments

"India" is not the problem
Thomas Pryde's Blog
2015/04/16
12 comments

Independent Abstractors: Well Trained Specialists (Part Three)
Thomas Pryde's Blog
2015/04/09
1 comments

Independent Abstractors: Making Peace With Technology (Part Two)
Thomas Pryde's Blog
2015/03/26
1 comments

Independent Abstractors: Dying Breed or Valued Specialists? (Part One)
Thomas Pryde's Blog
2015/03/19
2 comments

Introductions
Thomas Pryde's Blog
2015/03/10
0 comments

Reconstruction of Past Persons
William Pattison 's Blog
2015/02/20
1 comments

Violations of Professional Codes
William Pattison 's Blog
2015/02/16
6 comments

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