We're sure you have LOTS of questions.

We realize this seems very hard to believe, yet unfortunately everything we are saying here can be backed by hard, undisputed proof (case law, UCC, SEC, governmental investigations, major settlements, etc). If you still have questions, we encourage you to just ask.

Frequently Asked Questions.

"An attorney said that we don't need to worry about this. Should we?"

We hear this too often. Most of the legal community believes the title policy will cover whatever problems that may pop-up. We cannot emphasize enough how incorrect that is - we, ourselves, learned that the hard way. Many title companies are now requiring lenders to sign affidavits stating that IF any problems arise as a result of fraudulent or inaccurate recorded documentation, they are barred (exempt) from litigation. That means, you're on your own.

Additionally, many attorneys write title policies using the very same wrong information in county land records as the title companies.

They take the position that "if it ain't broken, don't fix it." Well, it IS broken whether you recognize it or not. Waiting to see if anything will happen is a dangerous and expensive game and these issues are rapidly gaining traction in the media as more people get hurt. Addressing the problem NOW will eliminate the potential for an expensive legal defense or outright loss or the property later. 95% of the TitleTracs investigations we've done had problems requiring a fix of some kind.

In order to understand the entire picture (and it's vital that you do) one must have knowledge in real estate, title, contract, consumer, securities AND tax law. Attorneys specialize in specific areas of the law. Not ALL areas we've just mentioned. Throwing securities and tax law into the mix is where the lack of knowledge usually happens. It is a very complicated situation and when you get into tax issues with how the MBS's are reported (or not) it plays a role in IF things are valid or not.

Last and most importantly, if someone signs a legal document using someone else's name and title, as working at a place they actually don't work for and files it into county land records, is that a binding legal document? Of course not! It's a problem under basic Black-letter contract law and plain common sense, AND a cloud on Title.

"I don't want to bring attention to this! Why should I?"

It is in your best interest to be pro-active and investigate your ownership now. If the TitleTracs Report finds potential problems, you may have never actually received clear title in the first place despite having a title policy which could very easily become a very expensive problem later. You may be living on borrowed time in your property ownership.

These issues are gaining more traction every day in the media and people are becoming more educated as to what has happened and how it may have affected them. Real estate is the biggest investment most people will ever make in their lifetime. You can bet they will be checking to see IF that property they "used to" own is still theirs. The questions are there. And you don't have to be the current owner of the property to investigate it. Investors do their own "due diligence" on properties they are looking to buy all the time.

These potential problems affect EVERY property owner or buyer. You have no idea what happened behind the scenes with your Note. And if you bought, refinanced, modified or made ANY changes to your loan since 1999, there is a very strong chance you have problems you don't even know about. Fixing it now is your safest and least expensive course of action. Sticking your head in the sand, pretending it hasn't happened will only cost you much more later, especially when you want to sell the property. You will be legally unable to and if you do, you may still be liable for it long after it's sold until the problems are fixed and title is made marketable again.

"I have a title policy, my mortgage is paid off and recorded in county records. I'm fine, right?"

It depends on several things such as when you purchased your property and if you've done any re-financing, loan modifications or principal reductions. If anything occurred after 1999, most likely problems developed due to shoddy document processing behavior that clouded title. These are very complicated issues that go very deep into areas most will never begin to understand (surprisingly, most industry and legal professionals are not knowledgeable yet either).

States are finding cases where fraudulent conveyances have been recorded against properties unbeknownst to the rightful owner. Notary fraud is also being identified as a huge problem throughout the US. All clouds on title.

"My Broker told me everything is fine. Is he correct?"

Unfortunately, most Realtors have no idea they are selling clouded titles. They are not even trained to recognize these kinds of events.

However, Realtors & Brokers are finding themselves named in lawsuits for misrepresentation, breach of the standard of care (professional negligence), breach of contract, negligent and intentional misrepresentation, deceptive trade practice, consumer fraud and other state-specific causes of action. These problems are just now coming to light and it will take massive re-training and a revise in the way real estate transactions are handled before the proper protections are in place.

"Why didn't the title search catch any of this?"

This is NOT something a title search investigates. Up until 1999, it wasn't necessary. However, when lenders began packaging and selling Notes on Wall Street behind the scenes through securitization, things went terribly wrong as legal procedures were side-stepped and the illegal re-creation of "original" documents began. A SEC requirement of the mortgage-backed securities was that they must destroy the real Original as it was no longer considered a negotiable instrument. It became a security and is now governed by the SEC and not the UCC.

However, when the economy collapsed, people had a hard time making their mortgage payment and those very documents that were destroyed had to be re-created again in order to foreclose. Of course, they were NOT the original documents signed by the homeowner any longer but that did not stop them from being recorded into county land records all across the country.

What most don't realize is that Title companies (and attorneys) rely on the inaccurate county land records for their information taking things as face value. They do NOT research the actual financial documents themselves for fraud, robo-signing , missing or inaccurate information. Several independent county land record audits have found that more than 85% of the recorded documents had some sort of problem. That is a Cloud of Title.

Title companies will most likely deny claims, taking the stand that; 1) they are not responsible for the inaccuracy of land records, 2) it does not fall into their scope of work, and 3) if they do find something, they'll simply write an "exception" to the policy. But the problem of a clouded title still exists.

"I paid cash for my property and have no mortgage. I'm safe, right?"

This shows how perverse the situation really is. Unfortunately, you may not be the legal owner. Many things can cause a cloud of title. It could have occurred with a previous owner anywhere in the Chain. Once a title is clouded, good title cannot legally be obtained thereafter until it is cleared by Court Order.

As a result, you may have never received clear title in the first place despite having a title policy. It is legally impossible. There have been cases where a previous owner or lender filed a lawsuit to get the property back and won because the new owner never received title. The current owner lost his investment and now must file expensive litigation against everyone that was involved (Realtors, Brokers, Title company, seller) which can take years to resolve.

Take a look at a news video of a current situation in FL (click here for video)

    Tips to Avoid Title Problems

  • If you are buying real estate, make sure you check to see if the property is TitleTracs-Certified. If not, research it using a reputable and knowledgeable examiner trained to identify these types of problems. This is what TitleTracs is all about.
  • Ask your Realtor about these specific issues before buying or selling. YOU become knowledgeable, after all it's your investment. If he/she says it will come up in your title review, remember title companies use the corrupted land title records at the county for their information and some of them farm their research out to be done in India!
  • Get everything in writing to avoid problems later.