Landmark Team’s CEO, Chris Cartwright, speaks on Title Fraud with Sandy Collins, iHeartCinci Podcast

Landmark Team’s CEO, Chris Cartwright, speaks on Title Fraud, an increasingly problematic problem in America. Chris was invited to discuss this pressing topic with Sandy Collins, host of iHeartCinci Podcast, after Sandy received an FBI alert on the topic.

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The Role of Title Insurance in Real Estate Transactions

The Role of Title Insurance in Real Estate Transactions

In the realm of real estate transactions, the significance of title insurance cannot be overstated. Serving as a critical safeguard against unforeseen ownership disputes and title defects, title insurance plays a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth transfer of property ownership. In our newsletter, “The Role of Title Insurance in Real Estate Transactions: Best Practices and Case Studies,” we explore the fundamental importance of title insurance, highlight best practices for its implementation, and examine real-world case studies that underscore its value in protecting stakeholders.

Understanding the Importance of Title Insurance

Title insurance serves as a shield, protecting property owners, lenders, and other stakeholders from potential risks associated with title defects, liens, encumbrances, and fraud. Unlike other forms of insurance that protect against future events, title insurance provides coverage for past occurrences that may jeopardize property ownership rights.

A comprehensive title search and examination are conducted during the underwriting process to identify any issues that may affect the property’s title. This diligent review helps to mitigate risks and ensure that the title is free and clear, providing peace of mind to all parties involved in the transaction.

Best Practices for Implementing Title Insurance

To maximize the efficacy of title insurance in real estate transactions, industry professionals should adhere to a set of best practices:

1. Thorough Due Diligence: Conduct comprehensive title searches and examinations to identify any existing or potential title defects, liens, or encumbrances.

2. Clear Communication: Maintain open and transparent communication with clients, explaining the importance of title insurance and addressing any concerns or questions they may have.

3. Customized Coverage: Tailor title insurance policies to meet the specific needs and circumstances of each transaction, considering factors such as property type, location, and intended use.

4. Risk Management Strategies: Implement proactive risk management measures to mitigate potential title-related risks, such as obtaining endorsements or conducting additional searches for specific issues.

5. Continual Education: Stay updated on industry trends, regulatory changes, and emerging risks through ongoing education and professional development.

Case Studies Illustrating the Value of Title Insurance

Real-world examples offer compelling evidence of the critical role that title insurance plays in safeguarding property rights and mitigating financial risks. Consider the following case studies:

1. The Hidden Lien: In a residential real estate transaction, the title search revealed an undisclosed mechanic’s lien against the property. Thanks to the comprehensive title insurance policy obtained by the buyer, the title company resolved the lien issue, protecting the buyer’s investment and preventing costly legal battles.

2. Boundary Dispute Resolution: A commercial property purchase was nearly derailed when a neighboring landowner claimed ownership of a portion of the property’s land. The title insurance policy provided coverage for the legal costs associated with resolving the boundary dispute, allowing the transaction to proceed smoothly.

3. Fraudulent Title Transfer: In a case of identity theft, an individual fraudulently transferred ownership of a property and attempted to sell it to an unsuspecting buyer. The title insurance company intervened, uncovering the fraudulent activity and restoring the rightful ownership to the original owner, thus preventing financial loss and legal complications.

These case studies underscore the invaluable protection afforded by title insurance in real estate transactions, highlighting its role in mitigating risks and preserving property rights.

Conclusion

As demonstrated, title insurance is a cornerstone of real estate transactions, providing essential protection against a myriad of potential risks. By adhering to best practices and leveraging the insights gleaned from real-world case studies, industry professionals can ensure the effective implementation of title insurance, safeguarding the interests of all parties involved in the transaction. Our newsletter serves as a valuable resource for navigating the complexities of title insurance and maximizing its benefits in real estate transactions.

Article published by Real University

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Mapped: What You Need to Earn to Own a Home in 50 American Cities

(Source: Home Sweet Home & Visual Capitalist)

A map of the U.S. with the median home price as well as the salary needed to own a home 50 American cities.

Once a fundamental part of the American dream, the ability to own a home is drifting farther and farther away for many Americans.

Between skyrocketing prices, stagnating wages, and now rising interest rates, the deck seems to be increasingly stacked against home ownership.

Using May 2023 data tabulated by Home Sweet Home, we map out the annual salary needed to afford a 30-year mortgage (at 6.37%) to buy a home in America’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas.

The monthly minimum mortgage payment includes taxes and insurance as well, and is capped at roughly one-third of the income. This analysis also assumes that the homeowner will put down a 20% down payment.

The Least and Most Affordable American Cities to Own a Home

At the top of the list, and at the very west of the country, San Jose is the least affordable city to own a home for the average American.

One would have to earn at least $374,000 a year to afford a $1.6 million dollar home in the city.

To put those numbers into perspective, the median American annual income is $75,000, about one-fifth what’s required to buy a home in San Jose.

Other Californian cities, San Francisco (ranked 2nd), San Diego (3rd), and Los Angeles (4th) all require an annual income of at least $180,000 to attempt home ownership within their metropolitan boundaries.

Boston (ranked 6th) and New York (ranked 7th) represent unaffordability on the East Coast, both requiring at least $160,000 a year to buy homes there.

It’s not just the coasts that are expensive however. To buy a home in Denver (ranked 8th) and Salt Lake City (15th) means earning more than $120,000 a year.

However, cities in the Midwest and South, like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Oklahoma City, and Louisville, are far more affordable, requiring less than $63,000 a year to buy a home.

Interest Rates Rock Home Ownership Chances

Aside from the obvious price differences in housing markets, a key factor that has elevated income requirements across the board is the rapid rise in interest rates in the last year. In fact the average 30-year mortgage has pushed past 7%, the highest it’s been since the 2000s.

This means that while the median price of a house in San Jose has actually come down between 2022 and 2023, the minimum monthly payment has increased from $7,717 to $8,720 this year.

So to afford a median-priced home in the country, an American needs to earn closer to $100,000 a year, up from $75,500 in 2022. And even then, they would be priced out of owning a home in nearly half of the 50 largest cities in the country.

As a result Americans may yet further delay home ownership. Renting is now a far more attractive option, thanks to the biggest difference between rent and mortgages in over 50 years.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: Home Sweet Home (HSH).

Note: HSH used different sources for their median home prices, mortgage rate, property taxes and home insurance figures for their analysis. Please visit their website for more information.

Other: If other personal debts exceed 8% of one’s given monthly gross income, this may increase the salary needed to qualify for a mortgage.

The full story is available: What You Need to Earn to Own a Home in 50 American Cities (visualcapitalist.com)

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SEXENNIAL REAPPRAISAL AND TRIENNIAL UPDATES FOR OHIO’S 88 COUNTIES | 2023-2028

SEXENNIAL REAPPRAISAL AND TRIENNIAL UPDATES FOR OHIO’S 88 COUNTIES
2023-2028

The latest sexennial reappraisal and triennial real estate tax update periods have been released for Ohio’s 88 counties from years 2023 through 2028.

2023 Reappraisal Counties

Auglaize
Clinton
Darke
Defiance
Delaware
Franklin
Gallia
Geauga
Hamilton
Hardin
Harrison
Henry
Jackson
Licking
Mahoning
Mercer
Morrow
Perry
Pickaway
Pike
Preble
Putnam
Richland
Seneca
Shelby
Trumbull
Vanwert
Wood

2024 Reappraisal Counties

Belmont
Brown
Crawford
Cuyahoga
Erie
Fayette
Highland
Huron
Jefferson
Lake
Lorain
Lucas
Morgan
Muskingum
Ottawa
Portage
Stark
Warren
Williams

2025 Reappraisal Counties

Carroll
Champaign
Clark
Fairfield
Logan
Marion
Medina
Miami
Ross
Union
Wyandot

2026 Reappraisal Counties

Ashland
Ashtabula
Athens
Butler
Clermont
Fulton
Greene
Knox
Madison
Montgomery
Noble
Summit
Wayne

2027 Reappraisal Counties

Allen
Coshocton
Guernsey
Sandusky
Vinton

2028 Reappraisal Counties

Adams
Columbiana
Hancock
Hocking
Holmes
Lawrence
Meigs
Monroe
Paulding
Scioto
Tuscarawas
Washington

2023 Update Counties

Ashland
Ashtabula
Athens
Butler
Clermont
Fulton
Greene
Knox
Madison
Montgomery
Noble
Summit
Wayne

2024 Update Counties

Allen
Coshocton
Guernsey
Sandusky
Vinton

2025 Update Counties

Adams
Columbiana
Hancock
Hocking
Holmes
Lawrence
Meigs
Monroe
Paulding
Scioto
Tuscarawas
Washington

2026 Update Counties

Auglaize
Clinton
Darke
Defiance
Delaware
Franklin
Gallia
Geauga
Hamilton
Hardin
Harrison
Henry
Jackson
Licking
Mahoning
Mercer
Morrow
Perry
Pickaway
Pike
Preble
Putnam
Richland
Seneca
Shelby
Trumbull
Vanwert
Wood

2027 Update Counties

Belmont
Brown
Crawford
Cuyahoga
Erie
Fayette
Highland
Huron
Jefferson
Lake
Lorain
Lucas
Morgan
Muskingum
Ottawa
Portage
Stark
Warren
Williams

2028 Update Counties

Carroll
Champaign
Clark
Fairfield
Logan
Marjon
Medina
Miami
Ross
Union
Wyandot

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Fraud Protection

Fraud protection is essential in the title industry. Fraudulent wiring instructions have caused dramatic financial losses for title agents, realtors, homeownership, and homebuyers.

We want to keep you safe.

What we know:

    • Changes to wire instructions are not normal
    • Lender payoffs are being manipulated
    • Large losses are occurring in the industry
    • Payoff instructions are not verified

Safety Measures:

    • Question every single change to wire instructions, change requests are not normal and probably fraudulent
    • Do not reply directly to emails requesting the movement of money
    • Instead, use the “forward” option and type in the correct email address or select it from your email address book
    • Validate new payment instructions received via email—even if it is internal
    • Always verify the authenticity of each wire transfer request
    • Call, using a number you have previously called—not one from the current wire transfer request—to verify verbally
    • Verify payment instructions with any new vendor
    • Verify changes to payment instructions for an existing vendor
    • Verify pay-off account numbers before wiring funds

How can you avoid fraud?

  • Establish a verification protocol
  • Enforce the protocol with all employees
  • Re-review on a regular basis
  • Implement multi-factor authentication
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Recording fees set to increase October 17, 2019

Effective October 17, 2019, recording fees for most documents will increase by $6 due to the passage of HB 166 by the Ohio Legislature.

The new recording fee will be $34 for the first two pages and $8 for each additional page. Half of all recording fees collected are required to be submitted to the state to the credit of the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.

Ohio Revised Code 317.32 and 317.36

 

Sample Fee Chart

Number of Pages Fee*
1 page
2 pages
3 pages
4 pages
5 pages
6 pages
7 pages
8 pages
9 pages
10 pages
$34
$34
$42
$50
$58
$66
$74
$82
$90
$98
  • $4 marginal fees and standardization guidelines still apply.

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Interim Guidance for the Blue Water Navy Act of 2019

The following is excerpted from a notification from the Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association.

VA Releases Circular 26-19-23 on August 12, 2019
Circular 26-19-23, interim guidance for the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019. Some key provisions of the Act, effective with loans closed on or after (and not before) January 1, 2020, are:

Veterans with loans amounts over $144,000, with full entitlement, will not need a down payment regarldess of purchase price;

The guarantee for loans at $144,000 and less will not change;

For Veterans who have previously used entitlement that has not been restored, the maximum amount of guaranty is the lesser of 25 percent of the loan amount OR the maximum amount of guaranty entitlement available. The maximum amount of guaranty entitlement is 25 percent of the Freddie Mac Conforming Loan Limit, reduced by the amount of entitlement previously used (not restored). In other words, the loan amount without a down payment could be 4 times the remaining entitlement. 25% down payment would be required over and above that loan amount.

Funding Fees will be as follows for all veterans, regardless of whether Regular Military, Reservist, or National Guard:

Type of Loan Downpayment Percentage for First Time Use Percentage for First Time Use
Purchase and Construction Loans None
5% but less than 10%
10% or more
2.30%
1.65%
1.40%
3.60%
1.65%
1.40%
Cash-out Refinance Loans n/a 2.30% 3.60%
IRRRLS n/a 0.50% 0.50%
Loan Assumptions n/a 0.50% 0.50%

Purple Heart recipients will be exempt from paying the Funding Fee.

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Mortgage terms | the basics

 

Buying a home can be daunting with all of the jargon and terms. Here are five basic terms that will be helpful to you during your loan shopping and purchase.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) – The cost of all credit and finances as determined by the length of a year, including the interest rate, points, broker fees, and other credit charges obligated to the buyer.

CLOSING COSTS – Also referred to as transaction costs or settlement costs. These may include various fees and charges associated with finalization. Closing costs can relate to application fees, title examination, title insurance, property fees, settlement documents, and attorney charges.

DOWN PAYMENT – Just like purchasing a new car, the process typically involves a downpayment. Larger sums of money are involved with most mortgages. The downpayment is the amount paid by the homebuyer to make up for/lower the gap between the purchase price and mortgage amount. It is generally advised this amount be no less than 10% to 15%, with the average magic number being 20%, of the purchase price. Avoiding Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and lower interest rates are key goals in the downpayment process.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE (PMI) – when a homebuyer places less than 20% of a downpayment on their home purchase, PMI is typically required. This insurance protects the lender in the instance of possible loan default. PMI is an added expense tacked onto the monthly mortgage payment and can take years to pay down.

LOAN ESTIMATE (LE) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, requires lenders to issue a Loan Estimate within three business days of the mortgage application. The Loan Estimate details the loan terms and also estimated closing costs.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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