Title Insurance New York

Wanted: A few good salespeople!

Hallmark Abstract Service New York State title insurance

Hallmark Abstract Service is currently in a growth phase and seeks qualified business development professionals who have what it takes to join our team!

If working with a firm like ours sounds like it may be interesting to you:

  • HAS was founded in 2008 at the height of the financial crisis to fill-in the gaps that were left by firms who for a variety of reasons were leaving the business;
  • HAS management has a laser-focus on our clients satisfaction and treats every deal regardless of size as if it is our most important one…because it is;
  • HAS currently has an even split between commercial and residential transactions;
  • HAS underwrites through the Chicago Title Corporation;
  • HAS was nominated Best Title Agency for 2013 in the New York Law Journal Reader Rankings;
  • HAS management cumulatively has decades of experience in title and real estate related businesses;
  • HAS provides our salespeople with flexibility and generous commission splits based on experience and deal flow;
  • HAS will consider those who have prior title experience as well as those who don’t;
  • At HAS there is no corporate bureaucracy to deal with.

Please send your resume to us at orders@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

Standard
Business, foreclosure crisis, Title Insurance New York

Marketing, Foreclosures and Public Speaking!

Hallmark Abstract Service New York Title Insurance

What do these three topics have in common? Not that much really but if you are in business and/or involved in the real estate market they all can have an impact on you in one way or another!

Attorney’s and Website Marketing

The first article is focused on law firms and the fact that while many have websites, many more still do not.

When searching for an attorney or anything else on the internet, what is the first thing that many of us do?

If you’re like me it’s to look for a website in order to learn more about an attorney or a business who may have been recommended.

Without a website many consumers may pass you by and, for those who do have a website is it effectively presenting your firm in the most complimentary and productive way?

‘Pump Up Your Law Firm Website’

‘Your law firm website is the core of your marketing efforts. Yet it’s easy to take it for granted. We know how it goes — you spend time and trouble getting it to work like you want, and then you move on to more urgent things. But, really, constant attention is needed to keep your website working for you…’

Read the entire article at Attorney at Work here.

What’s your biggest fear? Is it public speaking?

For many it is even coming in on the list as more frightening than death!

Here are a couple of tips to help get over that fear.

‘Speaking in public: two errors that lead to fear’

‘1. You believe that you are being actively judged

2. You believe that the subject of the talk is you

When you stand up to give a speech, there’s a temptation to believe that the audience is actually interested in you.

This just isn’t true. (Or if it is, it doesn’t benefit you to think that it is).

You are not being judged, the value of what you are bringing to the audience is being judged. The topic of the talk isn’t you, the topic of the talk is the audience, and specifically, how they can use your experience and knowledge to achieve their objectives…’ Read the rest of the article at Seth’s Blog here.

Foreclosures to take even more time……….?

If you live, work or practice real estate law in New York State you wouldn’t believe that this could be possible with the current time to foreclose measured in years and not days!

But it may be!

‘QM Rule Could Extend Foreclosure Timelines’

‘Investors and servicers should expect longer liquidation timelines on qualified mortgages that go into default, according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services…’ Read the rest of the article at National Mortgage News here.

Standard
blogging, marketing, Title Insurance New York

Should your business blog? (Infographic)

In other words is the extra work and small expense that’s involved creating and updating a blog going to provide your business with a return on investment (ROI) that will make the endeavor worthwhile?

The fact of the matter is that simply by you being here reading this article it has in effect made The Hallmark Abstract Sentinel worth the effort for HAS!

The benefit is not from our expectation that the people coming here to read this article are suddenly going to decide to order title insurance from us.

The need for our product is specific to real estate and more than that to a real estate transaction whether a purchase or refinance. And while it’s true that individuals can choose their own title insurance provider, when the time comes it is often left to an attorney to take care of.

Our goal is to provide information on a wide variety of topics that may prove to be useful to business managers and business owners while at the same time expanding the exposure and name recognition of Hallmark Abstract Service in the marketplace!

And that should be your goal as well.

So again, should your business have a blog?

Some statistics and infographic (Source):

19% of blog visitors refine their choices based on what they’ve read
19% of visitors use blogs for support and answers to questions
17% of visitors say they discover new products and services in blog articles
14% say they get assurance to buy after reading about the product on a blog
13% of visitors are inspired by blogs
7% of visitors actually buy directly from the blogs they read

business blogging

Standard
Title Insurance New York

Title Insurance: A General Tutorial!

Hallmark Abstract Service Jericho, New York

Why Title Insurance Is Vital For A Homebuyer!

Today more than ever, consumers are reminded that in order to have peace of mind, they should purchase an owner’s title insurance policy whenever they buy a home.

This is especially true when buying a property that has been foreclosed. Anyone who purchased an owner’s title insurance policy when they acquired a foreclosed property will be protected if ownership issues arise due to a lender’s foreclosure documentation practices. An owner’s policy provides assurance that your title company will stand behind you if a covered title problem arises after you buy your home.

The bottom line is that your title company will be there to pay valid claims and cover the costs of defending an attack on your title. Title insurance compensates and provides legal representation to real estate owners and lenders against any financial loss that might arise because of undiscovered liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property.  These defects can result in total losses, where a defective foreclosure or forgery means legal title is not actually conveyed, or they can result in partial losses where a neighbor’s garage or fence encroaches on the insured property.

There are two basic types of title insurance policies. A lender’s policy, usually based on the dollar amount of the loan, protects only the lender’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. Similarly, an owner’s policy, usually based on the home’s total purchase price, protects only the homebuyer’s interests in the property should a problem with the title arise. An owner’s policy will provide protection against ownership challenges, errors or omissions in deeds, mistakes in examining records, missed liens, forgery and undisclosed heirs, among other things.

Unlike most other types of insurance, you pay a one-time premium at the time of your home purchase for coverage that continues as long as you or your heirs own the property. Depending on where you live, the cost of an owner’s policy is marginal when a lender’s policy is also being issued.  This “simultaneous issue” discount means you do not pay full premium for owner’s and lender’s policies.

In all transactions, a search of public land records affecting the property is conducted to make sure a homeowner has clear title to their property.  The title agent will scrutinize prior deeds or mortgages, divorce decrees, court judgments, delinquent taxes and child and spousal support payments, vesting, covenants, conditions and restrictions, general encumbrances, and utility or other kinds of easements. A history of ownership of the property is created, called an abstract, and steps may be taken to cure title issues that are discovered.  This may include correcting recording and indexing errors in the public record, correcting misspelled names or incorrect legal descriptions. According to the American Land Title Association, the title insurance industry cures defects in public records in more than 35 percent of all transactions.

Some examples of documents that can present unexpected title issues include:

  • Deeds, wills and trusts that contain improper wording or incorrect names;
  • Outstanding mortgages and judgments, or a lien against the property because the seller has not paid his taxes;
  • Easements that allow construction of a road or utility line;
  • Pending legal action against the property that could affect a purchaser; or
  • Incorrect notary acknowledgements.

Some examples of issues which can present title claims under your policy include:

  • A forged signature on the deed, which would mean no transfer of ownership to you;
  • An unknown heir of a previous owner who is claiming ownership of the property;
  • Instruments executed under an expired or a fabricated power of attorney; or
  • Mistakes in the public records.

The majority of the one-time title insurance premium covers the cost to discover, identify and repair issues caused by events that occurred in the past. Because of these preventive measures, title insurance is fundamentally different from all other forms of insurance, which charge annual premiums to provide insurance protection for future events. The curative work performed by title agents minimizes the fear, disruption and distress that title claims have on homeowners.

One way to compare title insurance to other lines of insurance is to imagine if a homeowner’s insurance agent came into a home and inspected all of the wiring at no additional cost to the owner. The agent then repaired any and all faulty or frayed wiring at no cost and guaranteed that none of the wiring that was repaired or any wiring that the agent could not see, would cause a fire. Finally, the agent charged a one-time fee for the inspection, repairs and guarantee that would be in effect as long as you or your heirs owned the property. The title industry finds the faulty wiring, fixes the faulty wiring and charges a one-time premium to guarantee its work, based on the value of the property.

When property changes hands in the United States, it is through a private contract that is recorded in the public record. No matter the type of purchase, but especially a foreclosure, it is important that all documentation is in order. Commitment to accuracy and quality assurance is the foundation of title insurance. This commitment ensures fewer problems for homeowners and provides assurance that they won’t lose their investment.

Consumers have a choice when shopping for a provider of their title insurance related services. When selecting a title insurance provider, consumers should always consider the company’s local expertise, service standards, market conduct and commitment to the local community. Consumers should also consider and compare all of the associated costs. Some rates may or may not include other services provided by the title company such as conducting the closing, preparing and notarizing documents and other services. When comparing one rate to another, be sure to get detailed information on what is included in that rate, so you are comparing equally. Asking questions can help the next time you buy or refinance a home. When refinancing with your existing lender, ask for a copy of your original lender’s title insurance policy. When purchasing a home, ask your real estate agent or the home seller for a copy of any existing owner’s title insurance policy written on the property. When placing a title order, provide your settlement agent or lawyer with a complete, legible copy of any prior title policies. Finally, ask your settlement agent or lawyer if any discounted title insurance rates are available based on your situation.

Title insurance and related services are regulated at the state level, so keep in mind that the process can vary from state to state and even from county to county. Be sure to ask how it’s done in your area so you know what to expect.

Standard
Title Insurance New York

Why insist on a national title insurance underwriter for your real estate transaction?

Why should a buyer of commercial or residential real estate, or an owner refinancing an existing mortgage, insist that the title insurance underwriter that’s used for their transaction be national in scope?

Let me answer that question by referencing the first job that I had out of business school as a municipal bond analyst for a large Wall Street investment bank.

There were many different types of issuers and many different types of bonds. General obligation, hospital bonds, water and sewer, turnpike and many many more.

Each had different characteristics and sources of revenue but, as an analyst, my focus was on credit quality and that issuers ability to pay principal and interest when due now and through maturity.

Similarly a homeowner should have one basic concern when choosing a title insurance underwriter and that is the ability to pay a claim if and when that situation unfortunately arises no matter what!

That is why the financial strength of the underwriter is so critical, a fact which became even more apparent during the financial crisis that began in 2007 when some regional underwriters did indeed fail.

And this is why Hallmark Abstract Service is proud to underwrite our clients transactions through the Chicago Title Insurance Company which operates under the umbrella of the Fidelity National Title Group that in turn is a subsidiary of Fidelity National Financial.

Hallmark Abstract went through an intensive vetting process by Chicago Title before being accepted as an agent because Chicago wants to make sure that firms take the care and execute the proper due diligence on transactions so that claims will never be an issue. And for Hallmark Abstract they never have.

But, if for some extraordinary reason a claim does arise, it’s good to know that you as the property owner are well protected!

‘Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (NYSE:FNF), is a leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services and diversified services. FNF is the nation’s largest title insurance company through its title insurance underwriters – Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title and Alamo Title – that collectively issue more title insurance policies than any other title company in the United States.’

If you have any questions of comments about the topic of underwriters or anything else please give us a call at 516.741.4723 or send us an email at orders@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

Mike Haltman, President

Hallmark Abstract Service LLC

Standard