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Nana Sefa
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Owner’s title insurance - to get or not?

Nana Sefa
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Posted Jan 3 2024, 13:02

Which of you get owner’s title insurance? And who doesn’t get owner’s title? Why do you get or not get? Thank you. 

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Peter Walther
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Replied Jan 7 2024, 11:49
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Russell Brazil:
Quote from @Nana Sefa:
Quote from @Russell Brazil:

I always say if you get owners title insurance, you will never use it. If you do not get it, you will have a situation where you need it.

I have actually made a claim on owners title insurance before. I purchased a property that was a foreclosure. Years later I was refinancing and they found a title defect. Property had not been properly foreclosed on, so they had to reforeeclose on it like a decade later. Didnt cost me a dime, just time pushing my refinance back.

@Russell Brazil

So did the claim payout for the time lost?

 Yes, title insurance paid for everything 


I think the questions was did the title insurance reimburse you for the lost time value of your investment.  I suspect you were not because that is generally not part of the policy's definition of loss.


in all my title claims over the decades the policy simply pays to fix the problem or if the problem cost more to fix than the face amount of the policy they simply cut you a check.  A lot of people buying wholesale deals have no clue that most of the time they do not have coverage for their entire cost of purchase as many title companies will only insure for the contract amount and wont insure for the wholesaler fee.  U have to be aware to ask for more insurance .. and when denied by one company you need to move to another that will write the higher amount.  So basically if you have a policy for properties bought in low value areas were purchase prices are 10 to 70k lets say many times they will just cut you a check then its up to you to fix it or just keep the property and really not be able to sell it unless you can talk someone into buying it via quit claim without insurance. No lender will touch it.  I have a had that happen a few times.. you learn this stuff as it happens to you.

Absolutely.

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Peter Walther
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Replied Jan 7 2024, 12:01
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Tom Gimer:

@Nana Sefa Those are not theoretical... they are actual examples of things I've seen in the past 20+ years doing my job. The latest one -- buyer declined coverage and the prior title company missed a $20k state tax lien. Oops.

You didn't read Peter's comment or Alecia's fact pattern. Peter suspects (and I would tend to agree) that the title insurer involved in "resolving" the title issue was likely being asked to insure the next transfer... so the work was not done as part of a claims handling process but rather underwriting the next deal. Further, there was no title defect... coverage was not even implicated.

IMO, you're just not going to find anybody wise who agrees with your strategy. 


 This thread is very sophisticated. I know 200% title insurance needs to be obtained.

Btw do you have book recommendation where I could read everything about Title and Title company ? or even not-for-profit online class would be beneficial.


I'm not sure what you mean by everything about title but here's a link to the Table of Contents for j. Bushnell Nielson's Title and Escrow Claims Guide.  It's considered the bible of title insurance claims handling cases and is frequently cited by courts when deciding coverage issues.  It will give you an idea of the types of claims which are covered (and not) by a title policy.  To purchase a copy will cost you though.

2023 Edition Title and Escrow Claims Guide electronic version (alta.org)

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Replied Jan 7 2024, 12:10
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Tom Gimer:

@Nana Sefa Those are not theoretical... they are actual examples of things I've seen in the past 20+ years doing my job. The latest one -- buyer declined coverage and the prior title company missed a $20k state tax lien. Oops.

You didn't read Peter's comment or Alecia's fact pattern. Peter suspects (and I would tend to agree) that the title insurer involved in "resolving" the title issue was likely being asked to insure the next transfer... so the work was not done as part of a claims handling process but rather underwriting the next deal. Further, there was no title defect... coverage was not even implicated.

IMO, you're just not going to find anybody wise who agrees with your strategy. 


 This thread is very sophisticated. I know 200% title insurance needs to be obtained.

Btw do you have book recommendation where I could read everything about Title and Title company ? or even not-for-profit online class would be beneficial.


I'm not sure what you mean by everything about title but here's a link to the Table of Contents for j. Bushnell Nielson's Title and Escrow Claims Guide.  It's considered the bible of title insurance claims handling cases and is frequently cited by courts when deciding coverage issues.  It will give you an idea of the types of claims which are covered (and not) by a title policy.  To purchase a copy will cost you though.

2023 Edition Title and Escrow Claims Guide electronic version (alta.org)


just look at the table of contents and then see how many ways title can get buggered and why you need insurance.

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Peter Walther
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Replied Jan 7 2024, 12:18
Quote from @Nana Sefa:
Quote from @Tom Gimer:
Quote from @Nana Sefa:
Quote from @Chris Seveney:
Quote from @Tom Gimer:

Let’s hear from someone who declined TI that had to deal with a significant title claim out of pocket. The attorneys fees alone could put many out of business.

There is a reason they make you decline coverage in writing in many/most states.

Here are a few of our stories as debt buyers:

 I bought a mortgage that did not have title insurance and did not realize the mortgage was recorded before the deed. Borrower was in default but had to go through quiet title process since the mortgage was not valid since it was recorded prior. What a pain in the ASHHH that was and the time we lost. 

We did have a loan in Lousiana that had title insurance and the mortgage was recorded in the wrong parish. The borrower had taken out a second mortgage that was in first since ours was recorded in wrong parish. Title insurance was able to get it fixed but took a year.

The doozy of doozies is we acquired a loan (with insurance) where there was a first and second. The loan was a refinance of the first. They also did get a subordination agreement from the second lien holder but it was executed by their power of attorney. Borrower filed Ch 7 and liquidated the property. The second got wiped BUT filed a lawsuit claiming they did not know the power of attorney signed the subordination agreement and since the loan was dated after theirs they feel they are in first (even though in this jurisdiction a subordination agreement is not needed and the refinance of the first is automatically subordinated). Title insurance is covering the entire bill (still ongoing) - house is sold and all proceeds sitting in escrow. Been almost 2 years and when I spoke to my attorney he said legal well over $100k on this. Lets just say Glad I have insurance. 

@Chris Seveney in most of these examples I suspect you were the lender and not the property owner. Lenders will always get the title insurance. But as an owner who is not buying the property with cash, but with a loan (where the lender will have title insurance), I am not very convinced that owner’s title insurance helps me that much beyond what the lenders title does for me. And if after 30 when the loan is paid off an issue comes up, I should be able to self insure. I would love examples where you were the owner with a mortgage that title insurance actually paid you for a title issue. Thank you all for your comments. I am learning a lot  

Relying upon the existence of a lender's policy to protect you as owner when the simultaneous issue rate for the owners policy is typically pennies on the dollar? That's not particularly smart, IMO.

Especially when, as @Peter Walther mentioned above, the lender is not likely to do anything on a performing loan and further the title defect may not affect lien priority. On the last comment let's say the title company missed an easement which effectively prevents the intended use of the land. You're SOL; the lender is secured. Or perhaps title missed a $5k water lien. Nobody is going to foreclose a water lien so guess who has to pay it? I could come up with many, many examples such as these where without owners coverage you're screwed.

 @Tom Gimer. You give good examples but these seem theoretical. I want practical situations.  Also the point about lenders not doing anything about performing loans if there is a title issue is not accurate. Case in point the example from @Alecia Loveless above. 


The OP is an excellent example of why you need an Owner's Policy if you change the outcome slightly.

Assume the courthouse search found the property was in fact landlocked, without a legal right to access.  What might have happened?  Well first, the buyer might have walked, and Alecia now would have to tell all new perspective buyers about the problem.

Then, as I wrote, since assumably the mortgage was current, the insurer would have told its insured (the bank), give us a call after you foreclose and take title, then we'll see what we'll do.  A foreclosure of course would result from Alecia having to make the difficult decision, does she hire an attorney to figure out how to get access (not a guarantee) or default on the loan and walk away from the property with the attendant effect on her credit and continuing liability for any deficiency if the value of the property is less than the debt.

One last thing to consider.  Title policies contain a subrogation clause, that means the insurer steps into the shoes of its insured if it pays a claim.  I've had occasion where after paying an insured lender the full amount of the underlying debt, I took an assignment of the note and told the borrower, you now owe my company the amount you borrowed.  The borrower can either pay, or, as I've had borrowers do, file bankruptcy.

In my opinion, I think it's best to just buy an owner's policy.

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Replied Jan 7 2024, 12:36
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.

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Replied Jan 7 2024, 17:03
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

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Replied Jan 7 2024, 17:34
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?

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Replied Jan 7 2024, 18:00
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


Title plant is what we called the area were title and escrow companies kept all their big recording books that they used to search title. it was in their office and mirrored the county records. this is west coast.  in the early 80s west coast title companies started digitizing their plants.

From what have seen back east is law firms doing closings and they higher out title searches and those folks are called title abstractors. And work independently from what I have seen.

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 06:29
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

I'm all too familiar.  I've had to try to get an explanation for how a mistake happened from a person in a country with limited experience of private property ownership a virtually none with US ownership.

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 06:53
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


A title plant is an aggregation of all public records in a particular region effecting real property, including personal judgments since they may attach to real property, indexed either by Grantor/Grantee or geographically (legal description).

I suspect most underwriters are already developing AI applications for the search, examination and underwriting of title policies.  I don't know what the people doing those jobs are supposed to do for a living.  Maybe bag groceries at the local store.

When I started, title plants consisted of large books known as tract books where documents were indexed geographically with the entries made by hand by people known as posters.  Tract books were supplemented with additional records on little blue cards known as micro fiche sorted by time and name.  You would locate the correct fiche, put it in a reader, locate the proper information and write the recording information (Book/Page) on a chain sheet.  Then, when the chain was complete, you would locate rolls of microfilm where images of the recorded documents were found and make copies of them.  Then you would start examining the documents looking for thing that could be a defect in title.  When you were done, you would write up a commitment worksheet to be typed up.  It was a laborious process, but a good examiner was proud of his/her work and wanted to be as sure as possible, the commitment was correct and there were no errors.  As compared to today, the former process was more like crafting a fine piece of handmade furniture, instead of buying something at Ikea.  Nothing inherently wrong with the latter, but as always, you get what you pay for.

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 07:49
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


A title plant is an aggregation of all public records in a particular region effecting real property, including personal judgments since they may attach to real property, indexed either by Grantor/Grantee or geographically (legal description).

I suspect most underwriters are already developing AI applications for the search, examination and underwriting of title policies.  I don't know what the people doing those jobs are supposed to do for a living.  Maybe bag groceries at the local store.

When I started, title plants consisted of large books known as tract books where documents were indexed geographically with the entries made by hand by people known as posters.  Tract books were supplemented with additional records on little blue cards known as micro fiche sorted by time and name.  You would locate the correct fiche, put it in a reader, locate the proper information and write the recording information (Book/Page) on a chain sheet.  Then, when the chain was complete, you would locate rolls of microfilm where images of the recorded documents were found and make copies of them.  Then you would start examining the documents looking for thing that could be a defect in title.  When you were done, you would write up a commitment worksheet to be typed up.  It was a laborious process, but a good examiner was proud of his/her work and wanted to be as sure as possible, the commitment was correct and there were no errors.  As compared to today, the former process was more like crafting a fine piece of handmade furniture, instead of buying something at Ikea.  Nothing inherently wrong with the latter, but as always, you get what you pay for.


I loved going to the title plant and going through the big books with the title officer .. I also loved the handwriting in them.. So neat and precise.  I think you can do this on your own at most court houses still to this day ???  I could be wrong but I used to go into court houses looking for old subdivison plat maps that had been removed from the Assessor pages.. Shadow plats..

However great write up on what a title plant is from a true expert .. which is not me I am just remember things from starting out literally 50 years ago.

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Evan Polaski
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 07:53

@Nana Sefa, 100% always get them.  I have had to use them 3 times on my roughly 20 direct real estate transactions.  I also know people that have flipped homes for 15 years, and never once had a title issue.  But, as others noted, one title issue that is covered by the policy will likely cover all of your policies forever.

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 07:57
Quote from @Evan Polaski:

@Nana Sefa, 100% always get them.  I have had to use them 3 times on my roughly 20 direct real estate transactions.  I also know people that have flipped homes for 15 years, and never once had a title issue.  But, as others noted, one title issue that is covered by the policy will likely cover all of your policies forever.


On the bigger commercial deals and larger MF  one would have to be well you know what not to get title insurance and an Alta along with insuring for boundaries etc.  I don't do a lot of these types of transactions but I have done enough to know that its very important and things get found and in working with the Title company they can many times fix stuff up front or write over the offending encumbrance. 

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 08:17
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


A title plant is an aggregation of all public records in a particular region effecting real property, including personal judgments since they may attach to real property, indexed either by Grantor/Grantee or geographically (legal description).

I suspect most underwriters are already developing AI applications for the search, examination and underwriting of title policies.  I don't know what the people doing those jobs are supposed to do for a living.  Maybe bag groceries at the local store.

When I started, title plants consisted of large books known as tract books where documents were indexed geographically with the entries made by hand by people known as posters.  Tract books were supplemented with additional records on little blue cards known as micro fiche sorted by time and name.  You would locate the correct fiche, put it in a reader, locate the proper information and write the recording information (Book/Page) on a chain sheet.  Then, when the chain was complete, you would locate rolls of microfilm where images of the recorded documents were found and make copies of them.  Then you would start examining the documents looking for thing that could be a defect in title.  When you were done, you would write up a commitment worksheet to be typed up.  It was a laborious process, but a good examiner was proud of his/her work and wanted to be as sure as possible, the commitment was correct and there were no errors.  As compared to today, the former process was more like crafting a fine piece of handmade furniture, instead of buying something at Ikea.  Nothing inherently wrong with the latter, but as always, you get what you pay for.


 excellente ! i used to read micro-film long long time ago to read very old books / archives and verify birth/death record in library ; I thought it was similar process.

so these are the area where AI and LLM could really go deep down and checking for mistake.

so now I thought if there're 5 title company in one jurisdiction then every title co. can syncup with the database from the deed recorder office then. They would just enter the parcel number and such ? Is there need to keep the database current with recorder office from all title co. ?

now if there're errors like these, title co. could just create a new "deed record" in paper to fixing the issue ?

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 08:19
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 08:28
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


Not sure i am having lunch with my Escrow officer and Development rep today will ask ? 

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Replied Jan 8 2024, 08:34
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


Not sure i am having lunch with my Escrow officer and Development rep today will ask ? 

 sure why not, I would guess the Manila guy is the one that would search the entry. Very sophisticated operation indeed.

There're few online web also that recently can display the deed and title back to 20 years.

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 08:38
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


Not sure i am having lunch with my Escrow officer and Development rep today will ask ? 

 sure why not, I would guess the Manila guy is the one that would search the entry. Very sophisticated operation indeed.

There're few online web also that recently can display the deed and title back to 20 years.


a lot of counties have some of this info on line as well..  Like for us in Oregon our customer service department when you ping them either call or e mail and ask for a TRIO.. within 30 minutes you get an e mail back with  copy of the assessor tax page showing tax info etc.. A copy of the plat map and a copy of the last recorded Deed on the property so you can see who sold it and when and for how much.. And of course this is free to agents and those doing business with the title company regularly.  U simply cant get this kind of service back east or in markets that are attorney closing states.

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Tom Gimer
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 09:05
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


Not sure i am having lunch with my Escrow officer and Development rep today will ask ? 

 sure why not, I would guess the Manila guy is the one that would search the entry. Very sophisticated operation indeed.

There're few online web also that recently can display the deed and title back to 20 years.


a lot of counties have some of this info on line as well..  Like for us in Oregon our customer service department when you ping them either call or e mail and ask for a TRIO.. within 30 minutes you get an e mail back with  copy of the assessor tax page showing tax info etc.. A copy of the plat map and a copy of the last recorded Deed on the property so you can see who sold it and when and for how much.. And of course this is free to agents and those doing business with the title company regularly.  U simply cant get this kind of service back east or in markets that are attorney closing states.

Hey! Not true!

I can pull that information in a few minutes (in several east coast jurisdictions) for good customers.

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Evan Polaski
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Evan Polaski
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 09:47
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Evan Polaski:

@Nana Sefa, 100% always get them.  I have had to use them 3 times on my roughly 20 direct real estate transactions.  I also know people that have flipped homes for 15 years, and never once had a title issue.  But, as others noted, one title issue that is covered by the policy will likely cover all of your policies forever.


On the bigger commercial deals and larger MF  one would have to be well you know what not to get title insurance and an Alta along with insuring for boundaries etc.  I don't do a lot of these types of transactions but I have done enough to know that its very important and things get found and in working with the Title company they can many times fix stuff up front or write over the offending encumbrance. 

 Agreed on the commercial side, but my title issues all came on single family, as my commercial experience has either been LP or as employee of the owner.  And yes, a title agent can often clear things up before you close, and I have had that happen.  

However, I used a very good title company on one property, a company that had found issues prior to close in the past.  On this property, though, the prior owner bought it and mortgaged through a bank that went under during financial crisis.  Some other bank bought the assets of that bank.  Then the owner took out a portfolio loan through Fifth Third on about 10 properties.  He defaulted on that loan, the properties went to sherriff sale, the bank bought it back then listed.  We bought from the bank.  

The foreclosure filing only listed Fifth Third.  We owned the property for about 5 months as a flip.  As we were about to sign a contract with the buyer, the bank that bought the assets of the original lender sent us a letter stating their loan was not resolved in the foreclosure.  Ultimately I had to engage our title policy.  Thankfully buyer was patient and still closed, a couple months later than anticipated.  But all this being said, there were multiple points and title companies that touched this property over the several years prior to our owning it, and none found this recorded mortgage that was not released in foreclosure. 

So, yes.  Buy title insurance on single family, on multifamily, on $50k deals and $50mm deals.

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Jay Hinrichs#1 All Forums Contributor
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 10:28
Quote from @Tom Gimer:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


Not sure i am having lunch with my Escrow officer and Development rep today will ask ? 

 sure why not, I would guess the Manila guy is the one that would search the entry. Very sophisticated operation indeed.

There're few online web also that recently can display the deed and title back to 20 years.


a lot of counties have some of this info on line as well..  Like for us in Oregon our customer service department when you ping them either call or e mail and ask for a TRIO.. within 30 minutes you get an e mail back with  copy of the assessor tax page showing tax info etc.. A copy of the plat map and a copy of the last recorded Deed on the property so you can see who sold it and when and for how much.. And of course this is free to agents and those doing business with the title company regularly.  U simply cant get this kind of service back east or in markets that are attorney closing states.

Hey! Not true!

I can pull that information in a few minutes (in several east coast jurisdictions) for good customers.


LOL i know you can do it  My point was west coast companies have a customer service department staffed by a entry level employee that does nothing but Agent task's which include the Trio,  House books for agents  and  Developers packages  which they do for companies like mine that develop land in Addition in the Developers services they run all our plat work etc all for no cost to us just loyalty saves us THOUSANDS if we had to do it with hired consultants.. I have not experienced the same thing with most of the closings back east.  When i was in Cleveland last trip I had a lunch with the Head honcho for all of Chicago title in the state and I went into detail about what her Chicago title does for us out west and she was not aware so I put her and the head person in Oregon together so they could start to come up with some customer service ideas I don't know if they have followed through or not though !!!

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Bud Gaffney
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Bud Gaffney
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Replied Jan 8 2024, 12:41

100% get it. Every time.

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Peter Walther
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Replied Jan 9 2024, 06:24
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


A title plant is an aggregation of all public records in a particular region effecting real property, including personal judgments since they may attach to real property, indexed either by Grantor/Grantee or geographically (legal description).

I suspect most underwriters are already developing AI applications for the search, examination and underwriting of title policies.  I don't know what the people doing those jobs are supposed to do for a living.  Maybe bag groceries at the local store.

When I started, title plants consisted of large books known as tract books where documents were indexed geographically with the entries made by hand by people known as posters.  Tract books were supplemented with additional records on little blue cards known as micro fiche sorted by time and name.  You would locate the correct fiche, put it in a reader, locate the proper information and write the recording information (Book/Page) on a chain sheet.  Then, when the chain was complete, you would locate rolls of microfilm where images of the recorded documents were found and make copies of them.  Then you would start examining the documents looking for thing that could be a defect in title.  When you were done, you would write up a commitment worksheet to be typed up.  It was a laborious process, but a good examiner was proud of his/her work and wanted to be as sure as possible, the commitment was correct and there were no errors.  As compared to today, the former process was more like crafting a fine piece of handmade furniture, instead of buying something at Ikea.  Nothing inherently wrong with the latter, but as always, you get what you pay for.


I loved going to the title plant and going through the big books with the title officer .. I also loved the handwriting in them.. So neat and precise.  I think you can do this on your own at most court houses still to this day ???  I could be wrong but I used to go into court houses looking for old subdivison plat maps that had been removed from the Assessor pages.. Shadow plats..

However great write up on what a title plant is from a true expert .. which is not me I am just remember things from starting out literally 50 years ago.

Thanks Jay.  I really enjoyed my time as an examiner for some of the same reasons.  You're right, the posters' handwriting was impressive though sometimes the cursive writing was done with such a flourish it was tough to read.  In the counties I worked in, the s/d maps were known as unrecorded plats though because they weren't approved by the county access and easements were not per se valid though they might be relied on given the passage of time.

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Peter Walther
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Replied Jan 9 2024, 06:41
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Jay Hinrichs:
Quote from @Peter Walther:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:

I meant how do you fix something like these :


..something major came up with a right of way from back around 1874...... ?

Do you have history of centralized title somewhere ? or one title/city is holding the entire database to be corrected if something gone wrong ?

What really happened behind the curtain "when you fix title issue ?"


 Every title defect is unique and the cure if possible is fact specific.  You can have two properties with access issues and the cure will depend on each one's chain of title and associated facts.

As Tom pointed out, the primary repository for land records are generally with the County Clerk/Registrar of Deeds for the county where the property lies.  Many underwriters buy a copy of the records from the Clerk and use them to set up their own title plant though these are not the "Official Records".

This arrangement does have it's shortcomings.  The Duval County Florida Courthouse has burned down twice, taking it's records with it.  The local abstractors banded together and brought their records together to try to reconstruct them.

Modern day, I'm concerned that a courthouse will become subject to a ransomware attack freezing all transactions.


our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  

 What do you meant by title plants ?

Also what do guys think AI can help here ? 

I was wondering also how these title being done pre internet era ?


A title plant is an aggregation of all public records in a particular region effecting real property, including personal judgments since they may attach to real property, indexed either by Grantor/Grantee or geographically (legal description).

I suspect most underwriters are already developing AI applications for the search, examination and underwriting of title policies.  I don't know what the people doing those jobs are supposed to do for a living.  Maybe bag groceries at the local store.

When I started, title plants consisted of large books known as tract books where documents were indexed geographically with the entries made by hand by people known as posters.  Tract books were supplemented with additional records on little blue cards known as micro fiche sorted by time and name.  You would locate the correct fiche, put it in a reader, locate the proper information and write the recording information (Book/Page) on a chain sheet.  Then, when the chain was complete, you would locate rolls of microfilm where images of the recorded documents were found and make copies of them.  Then you would start examining the documents looking for thing that could be a defect in title.  When you were done, you would write up a commitment worksheet to be typed up.  It was a laborious process, but a good examiner was proud of his/her work and wanted to be as sure as possible, the commitment was correct and there were no errors.  As compared to today, the former process was more like crafting a fine piece of handmade furniture, instead of buying something at Ikea.  Nothing inherently wrong with the latter, but as always, you get what you pay for.


 excellente ! i used to read micro-film long long time ago to read very old books / archives and verify birth/death record in library ; I thought it was similar process.

so these are the area where AI and LLM could really go deep down and checking for mistake.

so now I thought if there're 5 title company in one jurisdiction then every title co. can syncup with the database from the deed recorder office then. They would just enter the parcel number and such ? Is there need to keep the database current with recorder office from all title co. ?

now if there're errors like these, title co. could just create a new "deed record" in paper to fixing the issue ?

Based on my limited knowledge of AI, I agree that it will be used in the not-too-distant future to underwrite transactions, just like it's currently used to draft contracts and legal pleadings.  Though mistakes will still be made.

Because of the expense of creating and maintaining a title plant, there are areas of the country where several partners (underwriters and/or agents) joined together to form a common plant.  Most plants and county clerks index the docs by grantor/grantee and not PIN because it is easier and therefore cheaper to do.  To post by PIN you need someone trained to run out a metes and bounds legal where with grantor/grantee you just need to be able to spell, and occasionally that's too hard to do.

Curing a defect generally requires more than just a corrective deed, even assuming the party you need it from is willing to sign.

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Replied Jan 9 2024, 06:47
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Carlos Ptriawan:
Quote from @Peter Walther:

our title companies in Oregon have their title plants in the Philippines.  its all digital.. there are no abstractors per se on the west coast.  


do you mean the digital plant to be located digitally in US servers but the one that can access the database is located in Philipines ?


I doubt anyone can tell you where the servers that host the plant are located but many of the people charged with searching an occasionally examining the title are in the Philippines and India.  In my experience, most of the exams they do are for lot and block sales which I've had management refer to as cookie cutter deals.  Of course, it's the rare member of management who has ever searched a title.