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Source of Title Blog : Title Industry

The Ohio House Sneaks a Massive Recording Fee Increase into the New Budget Bill
by Robert Franco | 2017/04/25

It was kept relatively quiet, though rumors have been circulating for a few weeks. Today the Ohio House of Representatives introduced a substitute budget bill that includes a massive increase in recording fees. Some documents will cost more than double if this version of the budget passes.  

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Categories: Ohio Legislation, Public Records, Title Industry

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Ohio's H.B. 201 Gets My Vote for Worst Bill of the Year
by Robert Franco | 2014/05/06

Yes, I know it is only May.  There is still a lot of time for our legislature to really do something stupid (and I'm sure they will), but I'm pretty confident that H.B. 201 will take the award for Worst Bill of the Year for 2014.  It seeks to greatly expand and codify equitable subrogation, which I have blogged about before. In 2010, I opined that Equitable Subrogation was an Over-used Remedy for Negligence and I applauded an Ohio Supreme Court decision that limited its applicability.  I was particularly pleased with the Court because more than a year earlier I questioned the lower court decision that applied equitable subrogation to bail out the negligent lender. 

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Categories: Abstractors, Huh?, Land Title Associations, Ohio Legislation, Small Agents, Title Industry

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Is a Conveyance Fee Due on the Conveyance of an Easement in Ohio?
by Robert Franco | 2013/05/24

When a deed is recorded in Ohio, the Auditor's office normally charges a conveyance fee of $4.00 per thousand of the value of the property conveyed.  I was recently told that at least one Ohio County has been charging the conveyance fee at the time easements are recorded.  This has not been the normal practice, to the best of my knowledge, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is not proper.  So, is the conveyance of an easement subject to the conveyance fee?

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Categories: Abstractors, Ohio Legislation, Public Officials, Title Industry

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Why the cost of Closing Protection Coverage has increased in Ohio
by Robert Franco | 2013/05/02

Effective yesterday, the cost to consumers for closing protection coverage has increased by $5 for each covered party.  Public records obtained from the Ohio Department of Insurance show that the change was largely due to concerns that losses caused by defalcations are uncertain and closing instructions are evolving.  A Demotech report recommended the premium increase.

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Categories: Defalcations, Risk, Liability and Claims, Title Industry

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Foreclosures in Ohio After Schwartzwald
by Robert Franco | 2012/12/31

On October 31, 2012, the Ohio Supreme Court decided Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation v. Schwartzwald, finally answering the question: Can the lack of standing or a real party in interest defect in a foreclosure be cured by the assignment of the mortgage prior to judgment?  Until Schwartzwald, there was a split on this issue among the courts of appeal.  According to the Ohio Supreme Court, "a lack of standing at the outset of litigation cannot be cured by receipt of an assignment of the claim or by substitution of the real party in interest."  What does this mean for the many foreclosures that have not followed this rule of law and what do title examiners need to look for when reviewing foreclosures in the chain of title?

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Categories: Abstractors, Foreclosures, Title Industry, Title Problems

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NAILTA's 5th Annual Conference
by Robert Franco | 2012/08/16

The National Association of Independent Land Title Agents is having their 5th Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD, on September 30 - October 2, 2012.  If you are an independent agent, who has been impacted by affiliated business arrangements, you have probably asked yourself "why isn't somebody doing anything about this?"  Well, "somebody" is - NAILTA and several other state associations of independent title agents have been formed to represent people like you.  If you want to know more, go to the NAILTA conference and get involved.

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Categories: Land Title Associations, Small Agents, Title Industry

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OAITA's Monday Conference a Success!
by Robert Franco | 2011/08/11

The Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents held its Fourth Annual Convention on Monday... it was truly excellent.  Not just excellent for an organization only four years old, but excellent by any standard.  Most incredible, was that they had a U.S. Senator speak... and take questions.  More important than anything he said, was what he heard.

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Categories: Abstractors, Land Title Associations, Small Agents, Title Industry

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What's Your Opinion of ALTA's New CEO?
by Robert Franco | 2011/08/02

Last week ALTA announced that CEO Kurt Pfotenhauer was stepping down to take a job in the private sector (at First American).  In his place, ALTA promoted Michelle Korsmo from COO to CEO.  While ALTA touted her experience in its press release, the folks at the Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents (OAITA) have voiced concerns about ALTA's choice.  What do you think?  Was Korsmo a good choice to lead ALTA, or should they still be looking?

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Categories: Land Title Associations, Title Industry

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The OAITA Conference is Coming - August 8, 2011
by Robert Franco | 2011/06/22

The Ohio Association of Independent Title Agents (OAITA) Conference will be August 8, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Downtown Columbus, Ohio.  The event is sponsored by General Title Insurance Company.  They keynote speaker will be United States Senator Sherrod Brown who will be addressing the role of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the housing and finance industries.  Also, Cuyahoga County, Ohio's Chief Foreclosure Magistrate, Stephen Bucha, III, and Medina County, Ohio Auditor Michael Kovack will be on a panel discussing the troubles with MERS, the foreclosure crisis and the housing industry.  If you can make, I would encourage you to attend.  Sounds like it will be a great conference.

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Categories: Land Title Associations, Title Industry

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A Little Known Fact About Dower In Ohio
by Robert Franco | 2011/02/17

This may be of little interest to most of you.  Dower is only recognized by about half a dozen states; Ohio is one of them.  To briefly explain the concept of dower, it is a one-third life estate interest that a spouse has in the real property of the other.  It is for this very important reason that all conveyances of interests in real property include the marital status of the grantor, along with a release of dower by the spouse if the grantor is married.  This is so even if the property is only in the name of the grantor.

There are usually only two ways to extinguish dower, aside from the spouse signing away dower rights by joining in the execution of the grant document by the title-holding spouse.  Those would be divorce and death.  However, there is another little known statute that can extinguish dower - I'm blogging about this today because I have never seen it used and until very recently, I was unaware of it.  By statute in Ohio, adultery can be a bar to dower.

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Categories: Ohio Legislation, Title Industry, Title Problems

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Source of Title Blog

Robert A. FrancoThe focus of this blog will be on sharing my thoughts and concerns related to the small title agents and abstractors. The industry has changed dramatically over the past ten years and I believe that we are just seeing the beginning. As the evolution continues, what will become of the many small independent title professionals who have long been the cornerstone of the industry?

Robert A. Franco



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