Need Title Company Familiar with Contract Assignments

12 Replies

I have an opportunity to assign a contract on a vacant land property.  I need a title company that is familiar and able to do contract assignments.  A company in the Harrisburg area would be ideal but not required I suppose.  

I completed one assignment before and the title company told me to have the buyer pay me the assignment fee outside of the property closing.  I would like to find someone to complete this transaction with the assignment fee included in the closing because I think the buyer would be more comfortable having a 3rd party handle it.  I don't think they would be comfortable if I told them to just send me a check for a few thousand dollars and I'll have the title company complete the closing....even if we sign an assignment of contract agreement.  Any title company recommendations or advice for me?

You don't want to assign a contract in PA, yo want to release your rights to the contract and get paid either a release fee or a consulting fee on the HUD 1

Thank you Josh that is good to know! On the last one I did the closing agent told me to call it a referral fee even though it was not included on the HUD and taken care of outside of closing. I would like this one to be included in the closing though if possible.

@Joe P.

We use Abstract Land Associates in Camp Hill on Market Street, we use them a lot, you may use my name if you like.  I have no ownership or financial interest in that company.

Some title companies have escrow services that are not related to a closing per say. You can setup a process where the assignee purchaser will escrow the money in good faith of closing, once things have closed according to the contract, the title/escrow company will release the funds to everyone accordingly.

Conestoga title company has great rates. And is closer

Originally posted by @Theodore Xenos :

Conestoga title company has great rates. And is closer

Title insurance rates in PA are set by the state, so all PA title insurers have the same rates for title insurance. 

Now, some title companies are more expensive than others when it comes to the assorted fees for other aspects of a settlement, and some are reputed to include "junk" fees, so those are the sorts of fees that you can shop around for.

@davidKrulac  You are correct. I get lost in PA. I used them in Hamburg area. They are in Reading. My apologies Hamburg to Harrisburg is a trip.  

@Steve Babiak Ah if only that were true!

PA has "Approved Attorney" rates for title insurance that give a HUGE competitive advantage to PA attorneys. 

@Joe P.

If you assign the contract, you'll have to pay transfer fees. Depending on the value of the vacant lot, that can be a hefty sum. I assume that's what @Josh Caldwell was concerned about. Just note that you have to be careful about how you do this --- without looking at the sales agreement between you and the seller, it is hard to comment on what you should look out for. 

Note that I've seen the PA Department of Revenue try to crack down on the termination-and-release method. I can't recall if there has been an appellate case on the matter. But the Department has often tried to apply the "duck test" on these matters --- if it looks like an assignment, the Department may argue that it is an assignment. To counteract this, some attorneys expressly recommend that you categorize the agreement between you and the seller as an "option." 

I would probably say try to find an attorney that also does title insurance. These assignment transactions can sometimes cause a lot of headaches. And if the property value of this vacant property is high, you may face unpleasant liabilities. 

Disclaimer: While I’m an attorney licensed to practice in PA, I’m not your attorney. What I wrote above does not create an attorney/client relationship between us. I wrote the above for informational purposes. Do not rely on it as legal advice. Always consult with your attorney before you rely on the above information.

Anchor Abstracting Company, INC. Is another one. I have never used it myself, but I have meat one of the manager's at a real estate meetup in York, and he said they are investor friendly, and I understood they do assignments. They are located on East Philadelphia st York PA. I have no connections to this company.

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