real estate settlements: You have an on-line PRESENCE, but are you PRESENT? - 08/03/12 03:44 AM
Every day we update out Twitter feed, enter our status on Facebook, blog, e-mail and text message to our clients in the hope that our on-line presence will attract their attention.  It is important to do this, without question, but is that the only way in which you are communicating with your client base?  More and more lately I find that people are only communicating via electronic media.  I too find myself often falling into this same habit of sending a quick e-mail rather than picking up the phone sometimes and I resolve to stop relying upon electronic media to connect with … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: Training the new generation of real estate "closers"- my Big Blue Bird is catching on quickly - 01/06/12 06:34 AM

Meet Skyler Blue, a/k/a Big Blue Bird.  Skyler is my sweet 15 year old Blue and Gold Macaw and he is very bright.  He has a vast vocabulary and he has learned to mimic many things that I say to him.  He calls for his Mommy, he says help me, cookie, cracker, ouch, and about 30 other words and phrases.  He has picked all of these words and phrases up simply because he has heard them over and over again over the years.  He does understand what some of them mean, for instance, he does know that if he says "Mom", I … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: Are you marketing to Realtors and Title Agents? You may want to learn more about their business - 08/30/11 09:06 AM
I work with many great companies who provide invaluable services to me.  But for some reason many of these companies just don't understand the business other than to know that their product makes our lives a little bit easier and we are a good target market for them.
What gives rise to this particular rant is the fact that today I have taken 2 calls from vendors that I do business with both of whom just wanted to "touch base".  While I love to talk to these particular sales people, I DON'T HAVE TIME AT MONTH END to have a discussion … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: Should I make my blog more FLUFFY? - 07/14/11 08:22 AM

I haven't been blogging much lately on AR.  I became somewhat disenchanted with AR for a while because some of the blogs that were featured seemed to be just FLUFF.  By that I mean that they seemed not to impart any particular wisdom but rather just seemed to be posted for purposes of creating a blog for the day.
I do blog almost daily on other sites, these are mostly professional sites and my blogs are geared to those professionals who are driven to those sites. 
I need to make my AR blog more appealing to Realtors and to consumers, … (39 comments)

real estate settlements: What do you grab as the tornado sirens go off? - 04/28/11 03:47 AM

It's been a crazy morning here in Maryland.  Tornado sirens are not something that we hear as a matter of course so naturally when they start going off it is necessary to take action.
We have always been told to have an emergency kit put together in case of inclement weather.  As the sirens went off this morning, I was fully prepared. 
I grabbed my briefcase stuffed with files that had titles I needed to review, my cell phone which enables me to have a "wireless hot spot" and my nook color so that I could communicate with my office … (2 comments)

real estate settlements: I DIDN'T MEAN TO, BUT I THINK I QUIT SMOKING!! - 02/23/11 08:34 AM

I have been a smoker for my entire adult life, spanning more than 25 years now.  I have smoked upwards to 1 1/2 packs of cigarettes a day for at least the last 20 years.  That is a serious lot of smoking and no small amount of money wasted over the years.  At $65 a carton, smoking a carton a week I spent about $260/month on something that was killing me, affecting those around me and generally making my life a living hell. 
I have repeatedly tried to quit smoking by making New Year's Resolutions, promises to my self and others … (4 comments)

real estate settlements: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac blame mortgage servicers for the foreclosure crisis - 12/03/10 06:37 AM
An article in the Wall Street Journal dated December 1, 2010 reveals that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both are placing the blame for the foreclosure crisis on the servicers.  They state, that they, Fannie and Freddie do not service loans and thus are not to blame for the crisis.  They remind us that the collection of mortgage payments are the responsibility of mortgage servicers and law firms with which the companies contract.
The article, written by ZACHARY A. GOLDFARB contains quotes from both Terence Edwards, Executive Vice President for credit portfolio management at Fannie Mae and Donald Bisenius, Executive Vice President … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: REALTORS DUTY TO DISCLOSE IN SHORT SALE-by ROBERT - 12/02/10 07:12 AM
Realtors' Duty to Disclose in a Short Sale by Robert Franco | 2010/11/27 |
Mr. and Mrs. Holmes saw a house listed for sale in Huntington Beach, California on the Realtors' Multiple Listing Service with an advertised price of $749,000 to $799,000.  The listing indicated that the "seller was motivated."  The Holmes made an offer, and after a counter-offer they agreed to purchase the home for $749,000 with a 30-day escrow.
In order to close on this purchase, the Holmes sold their house. What the Holmes did not know was that this was a short-sale involving three lenders and a total … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: I TOLD YOU SO - 10/14/10 06:22 AM
In October 2008 I sent letters to members of Congress, Fannie Mae, ALTA and MDLTA relating to the fact that the large servicing entities had made decisons to begin to use foreclosure mills nationwide in an effort to streamline their foreclosure processes. In so doing they may well have streamlined the process, but, we all see now just what that has meant to those of us in the title industry as well as for the consuming public.  My particular concern at that time was not so much related to the actual foreclosure filings, but was related to the lack of oversight of the … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: This post will not win me any friends on AR - 09/03/10 07:39 AM
I have been reading for some months now some of the comments that have been to submitted to HUD at as they relate to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA): Strengthening and Clarifying RESPA's "Required Use" Prohibition. (Docket No. FR-5352-A-01).
As a proud member of The National Association of Independent Land Title Agents I have been very outspoken about my opinion of Affiliated Business Arrangements (ABA's) and Controlled Business Arrangements (CBA's).  I firmly believe that steering consumers into using affiliates for bundled services in their real estate transactions is detreimental to consumers and to the title industry as a whole.

real estate settlements: Are you "Practicing Law" ? - 07/23/10 03:53 AM
I read an interesting article today at Source of Title written by Robert Franco.  Mr. Franco brings up a very good point, one that I think most Realtors don't consider when trying to help a friend or family member in a FSBO transaction.
I have seen, in my role as a title agent, situations where the Realtor has provided a blank contract of sale as well as the necessary addendum for lead paint, FHA financing, etc. One would assume that the Realtor probably reviewed the contract with at least one of the parties to the transaction.  
Mr. Franco brings up a … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: THE NEW GFE- Will HUD finally listen to consumers and professionals? - 04/23/10 06:22 AM
An article written by Adrian Sainz, of the Associated Press on April 23, 2010 (see entire article below) brings back a question that I had last year when we were all scrambling to get our computer software up dated to accomodate the new HUD-1, GFE and other related documents that we would need to start to use in January of this year.
I have never believed that the new GFE and HUD are aiding the consumer in thier quest to find the most affordable loan program and this article brings home my point.
The new HUD and GFE are structured in such … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: THIS IS JUST ABSURD - 04/16/10 08:04 AM
Chase Home Mortgage wants me to pay off their loan, and then.......
  .....they will give me a release. However, there is nothing available to release!!
The situation arises out of a transaction wherein my seller acquired a loan with (presumably) Chase. They did their entire transaction on-line.  The lender elected to use a national closing company which in turn used a local notary public to "conduct the closing".  The notary in turn sent the original documents back to the national closing company and that's where the trail ends. 
It turns out that the Deed of Trust securing this debt has never … (3 comments)

real estate settlements: Does the seller really own that property you want to buy out of foreclosure and if they do, do you really want their title agent to conduct your closing? - 04/13/10 07:44 AM
I realize that this is not Monday, but seriously it feels like it.  You know how Monday's can just aggravate the hell out of you? Well that is the kind of day I am having today.
The day started with a query from a listing agent on a property that was being "sold" by Fannie Mae and the buyers agreed to use the seller's title agent for closing services.   The property was to have gone to closing on Monday of next week, BUT, it turns out that the foreclosure attorney made a mistake in the foreclosure and ended up having to … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: REO ASSET MANAGERS, THERE REALLY IS A BETTER WAY TO DO BUSINESS - 03/25/10 08:06 AM
Many large REO Default Servicing Lenders are using foreclosure mills as their title agents on the out sale of REO properties.
As I have previously posted I am not a fan of foreclosure mills being assigned the task of closing transactions out of their foreclosure into the new arms-length purchaser.
I had a discussion today about this practice and thought I would share what I came up with as to the way in which these files are being processed for the out-sale.
It would appear that upon final ratification of sale the file sits around for a long while waiting on the owner … (1 comments)

In a lawsuit filed in Charlotte, NC Bank of America claims that First American and it's subsidiaries have either denied payment or withheld payment on over $500 million worth of claims stemming from title defects, including vesting problems, legal description errors, intervening liens and other covered items.The law suit states that in at least 5500 instances they have to file claims under these title insurance "policies". All of these claims are related to Equity Lines of Credit or Home Equity Loan.
Bank of America claims that under the Fiserv QuickClose Lien Protection Insurance Program, a streamlined substitute for title insurance that they are entitled … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: MARYLAND NEW RATE INFORMATION FOR OLD REPUBLIC TITLE - 03/09/10 06:49 AM
Old Republic Title has announced a new rate increase for the State of Maryland that will become effective on April 1, 2010.  This rate increase is cosistent with the rate increases that were granted to all other major title underwriters here in Maryland.  On April 1, 2010 the rates will be published and I will provide the link to those rates as soon as they are available on-line. 
Of important note with the new increase is the information relating to re-issue rates.  As you all know a title policy MUST be given reissue rates, if applicable.   
The guidelines for qualification for reissue … (0 comments)

real estate settlements: FANNIE MAE ADDENDUM FOLLOW UP - 03/02/10 06:33 AM
Thanks to all of you who have contact me recently asking if I can provide a copy of the new addendum.  While I am always happy to share I hesitate to provide a copy of the addendum since I am not sure whether or not other jurisdictions have additional provisions.
For those of you who are able to access eFannieMae, I think you may be able to acquire a copy there. If you are not able to access eFannieMae, please contact a local Fannie Mae listing broker.  They will be able to provide the copy specific to your jurisdiction.
Thank you … (2 comments)

real estate settlements: ACCIDENTAL RELEASE - 02/23/10 03:12 AM
I took a call yesterday from a "servicing company" in California relating to a property here in Maryland.  Their question to me was one I had never bad before. It seems that they accidentally released a Deed of Trust in the local land records and they wanted me to tell them how to get the Deed of Trust re-recorded.  The larger problem is that they did not want the borrower to know that they had accidentally released the DOT.
I was pretty sure of the answer but went ahead and called the clerk's office anyway and was advised that the borrower would … (0 comments)

CHARLENE PERRY, CLTP, Insuring the Past to Protect Your Future (Key Title Corporation)


Insuring the Past to Protect Your Future

Perry Hall, MD

More about me…

Key Title Corporation

Address: 35 Fulford Avenue, Bel Air, MD, 21014

Office: 410-803-4800

Mobile: (410) 456-7157

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