Title Company Strikes Again! Doesn't anyone know how to do their job anymore?

Real Estate Agent with Aspen Properties, Inc. BR511793000

I wonder, is there anyone out there competent to do a job anymore?  Is being thorough and efficient absolutely a thing of the past?  Tonight is my rant about a Title Situation that is making me crazy.

To start with, I got a call yesterday afternoon from one of my buyers who's sale "closed" nearly two weeks ago.  He had called our local Sanitary District to make sure everything had been transferred over at closing and was informed that there was a $768 outstanding sewer bill that was never paid and that the Sanitary District had put a lien on the property and blocked the sewer line. (Fortunately they hadn't moved in yet)  The bill had to be paid before they would unblock the line.  He asked them for a copy of the lien papers and they gladly sent them to him which he immediately sent on to me. 

I called Navajo County in the interim to find out what they knew about this and low an behold they didn't even have a record of the sale.  The deed had never been recorded.  So starts the nightmare.

I called the Title Company who had handled the escrow starting out with the lack of recordation on the deed for starters and informing them of the lien for the Sanitary District.  After multiple excuses they admitted that on the day of closing they forgot to call the County to release the Deed for recordation.  They had done it right then but it was too late for it to record yesterday so it would be done today. 

2nd the Sanitary District information had just arrived from my buyer and I sent it over to the Title Company.  They promised to get back to me before the days end with some answers.  Of course that didn't happen so this morning I got on the phone first thing to find out the status.  After four phone calls and three voice mails I finally connected to the gal I spoke with yesterday by using a back line on my office phone.  She didn't recognize the number so she answered.  I swear the tricks we must resort to in order to get any answsers. 

She proceeded to tell me it was the Seller's responsibility to take care of the bill and they had sent them an e-mail about it.  In the interim it came out that this Title Company was not the one who issued the Title Insurance Policy and if it ended up being a Title issue that they would be responsible for the bill.  I called the other Title Company.  (This is one of those fun Bank Owned deals) so there are multiple Title Companies involved. ) 

I proceeded to call the other Title Company who insisted that the first Title Company had assured them that they would take care of it there was nothing to worry about.  As inevitably happens when there are too many cooks in the kitchen, the finger pointing started and the it's not my problem it's theirs ensued. 

By the end of the day today I was no closer to knowing who is going to take responsibility for this than I was at 8 this morning.  Obviously the second Title Company who did the Title Search and issued the policy is the one who should be responsible since they missed this lien on the Title Search.  I know they aren't going to do it without a fight though so I am on a rant tonight.  I can't fix this and my buyer isn't about to pay this fee just to get the sewer line unblocked because if he does he'll eat that cost. 

Oh, the joys of dealing with Banks and Out of Town Title Companies.  The fact is that no one thought to look for this on the Title Search because these Title people are in Phoenix where sewer is handled through taxes at the City.  They didn't know to look for a Sanitary District lien.  Welcome to the mountain folks, if you are going to do business here you need to learn the ropes.



Posted by

Sandra J. Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR, REALTOR®

Pinetop, Arizona

(928) 242-0300



If you are looking to Buy or Sell Property in the White Mountains of Arizona, give me a call.  I have been listing and selling in this area since 2002.  With over 16 years of experience I can assure you I know how to treat a client.  For Service you expect and deserve, call Sandra Paulow. 




This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Arizona Navajo County
Arizona Homes
Moving to Arizona
Northern Arizona Real Estate Professionals
RE/MAX Active Rain Bloggers
oh the joys of dealing with bank owned properties

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

It does seem that every deal has it's own set of issues these days.  This is where calm heads and perservernce will pay off. 

May 27, 2009 01:31 PM #1
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Every deal is different no doubt. Did one of the agents not check the title work. If the lien was on there prior to the closing then it should have been on the title.

May 27, 2009 02:03 PM #2
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Wow! What a string of happenings!I'm with Charles if there was a lein prior to closing it should have been on the tile work.

May 27, 2009 02:23 PM #3
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

You are all right, it should have been on the Title.  However, it wasn't, the Title Company missed it completely.  The Title work was redone six times because they kept missing things and making mistakes on the Buyers names or some other detail.  This was just never found.  The Title Company didn't dig deep enough on it because this lien was filed on the original plat of the subdivision, not on the individual property so the information was on a different book and page than most of the information.  It was on the records because I verified it with the County, the Title Company just missed it.  Believe me we were all watching the Title Report and in particular the Schedule "b"s because there were a lot of things that had to be addressed on the original prelim.  None of the agents missed anything because it wasn't there to miss.  The Title Company just flat didn't check for liens on the subdivision plat, just on the individual property. This particular developer is bankrupt.


May 27, 2009 02:31 PM #4
Sandra Paulow
Aspen Properties, Inc. - Pinetop Lakeside, AZ
REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR

An update on this Title Situation!

Well the Title Company has agreed that they owe for the Sanitary District bill because they did miss it on the Title Search.  They finally recorded the deed last Thursday.  It had been sitting on one of the Escrow Officer's desk for two weeks. 

Add to all that has transpired, I e-mail and spoke to the other Agent last Tuesday about this and he just basically blew it off and didn't pursue it until today.  He finally contacted his Seller and the seller told him to go pay the bill and send it in for reimbursement.  He just didn't care enough to follow up on it for over a week.  Nice!!!!

I am amazed that people like these who have handled this can find their way to the door.  They certainly couldn't find their backsides with both hands if they were in a dark room. 

Anyway, it looks like it is getting resolved but what a mess!

Jun 01, 2009 01:02 PM #5
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Oh, the joys of dealing with Banks and Out of Town Title Companies.

Doing one right now - we are all confused.  :)

Jun 11, 2009 05:07 PM #6
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Sandra Paulow

REALTOR, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR
Find your perfect place in Pinetop, Arizona. Call Sandra today.