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Title Insurance FAQs for Home Buyers

Title Insurance FAQs for Home Buyers

Did you know that title insurance is the most effective, most accepted and least expensive way to protect property ownership rights? Because most consumers purchase title insurance only a handful of times in a lifetime, questions do arise when the time comes to purchase a property.

What is Title?

Title is your ownership right to your property.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is a policy that protects your investment and property rights. There are two different types of title insurance: owner’s policy and lender’s policy.

OWNER’S POLICY

An owner’s policy protects your property rights for as long as you or your heirs own the home.

LENDER’S POLICY

A lender’s policy is usually required by the lender and protects only the lender’s financial interests. The buyer typically pays for this policy, but this varies depending on geography. For more information, please contact your Ticor Title Representative.

Why Should I Purchase Owners Title Insurance?

Owner’s title insurance is the best way to protect your property from future legal claims. It’s a one-time fee that covers you and your heirs for as long as you own your home. The owner’s policy also covers potential legal fees for settling claims against your property rights.

What Does Owner’s Title Insurance Cost?

The one-time payment for owner’s title insurance is low relative to the value of your home. The typical owner’s title insurance policy costs around 0.5% of the home’s purchase price.

How Long Am I Covered?

Your owner’s insurance policy lasts for as long as you or your heirs own your property. Your life will change over time, but your peace of mind never will.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Ticor Title helps educate homebuyers like you about the value of title insurance so you can protect your property rights. Contact a Ticor Title representative today to learn more about title insurance and the home closing process.

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Announcing Jessica Bullion, Customer Service Representative

Announcing Jessica Bullion, Customer Service Representative

We are pleased to announce Jessica Bullion as our dedicated and local Customer Service Representative and Property Information Specialist for Southern Oregon. to provide you with List Kits, Homebooks, CC&R’s, Deeds, FARM lists, Aerial Map Images, Mailing Labels, and much more. With access to an array of robust property information resources, we can search any property or owner to find information. We are excited to add Jessica to our team and are confident that she will bring added value to our clients and partners.

About Jessica Bullion

Jessica Bullion has lived in Southern Oregon her entire life. After graduating from Crater High School in 2010, Jessica stayed local and studied Psychology at Southern Oregon University.

Throughout her work life Jessica has thrived in positions that built business to business relationships through outstanding customer service and problem solving.

As the Ticor Title Company Southern Oregon Customer Service Representative, Jessica is responsible for helping our customers grow their business by providing outstanding property information resources to meet the demands of our ever evolving market.

Outside of work, Jess enjoys cooking, reading, hiking with her dog Ava, and sprucing her up her almost 100 year-old house.

Please join us in welcoming Jessica Bullion to the Ticor Title Team!

Jessica Bullion

Customer Service Representative
ticorsocs@ticortitle.com
541-282-8831

1555 E McAndrews Ste 100
Medford, OR 97504

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Real Estate Buyer & Seller Guide for Title and Escrow

Real Estate Buyer & Seller Guide for Title and Escrow

We are pleased to announce the availability of Ticor Title’s comprehensive Buyer/Seller guide in PDF and eBook Formats. This guide is designed to provide meaningful information and answer commonly asked questions that home buyers and sellers have throughout a real estate transaction.

Our goal with the Buyer/Seller Guide is to improve the overall experience of buyers and sellers by providing education and insights that demystify Title Insurance, Escrow, the CFPB, Taxes and more. This guide is a useful tool in setting proper expectations for the complex process of buying and selling a home.

How to Get the Buyer & Seller Guide

For your convenience, there are three ways to access the guide:

Downloadable PDF Download the Buyer & Seller Guide in PDF format for viewing, sharing, and local print. Download here: Buyer and Seller Guide to Title & Escrow
eBooklet eBooklet format presents well on tablets, smart-phones, and desktops and provides a means of linking to and sharing individual pages or sections of the document. Click here to view the Buyer & Seller Guide in eBook format.
Print The Buyer & Seller Guide is available in a high-quality print format upon request. Please contact your Ticor Title Sales Executive to reserve yours today.

The guide provides insights and information on the following:

Click any item below to view.

TITLE

The Title Insurance Value Proposition: 10 Reasons
What is Title? – FAQ
Why You Need Title Insurance – 21 Reasons
Life of a Title Search
Title Policy Comparison Chart
What is the Title Commitment?
Common Ways To Hold Title in Oregon
ID Affidavit – Why is it Needed?

ESCROW & TAXES

Escrow: FAQ
The Escrow Process
The Life of an Escrow
Opening Escrow
Red Flags in the Escrow / Title Process
Other Parties to an Escrow Transaction
The Loan Process
PMI Private Mortgage Insurance – FAQ

Taxes
PATH Act
Loan FAQ
What is Payoff
Property Tax – Annual Calendar
Closing Costs: What Buyers & Sellers Typically Pay For

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
What is Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? (CFPB)
Will The New CFPB Rule Delay My Closing?
Purchase Title / Escrow Order Workflow
The New Closing Disclosure Explained

TERMS

Glossary of Terms

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True Story – Escrow Closer Thwarts Last-Minute Wire Fraud Scheme

True Story – Escrow Closer Thwarts Last-Minute Wire Fraud Scheme

Leanne S., AVP Branch Manager of one of our sister offices, had a closing at 10:00 a.m. The buyer was obtaining a new loan to purchase the home. The buyer had not yet wired in the closing funds so she could not disburse the proceeds to the sellers.

Leanne made arrangements with the sellers at the closing to pick up the proceeds check later that day. The sellers indicated they were going to use the funds to pay off the home equity loan on their primary residence with Navy Federal Credit Union®.

A Last-Minute Change Requested via Email

Within 10 minutes after the buyer and sellers left her office she received the following email:

Hi Leanne,

Thank you so much for assisting with the closing. But regarding our disbursement can you assist with changing disbursing to our Sun Trust bank account. Please note that this is very important. Kindly get back to me so I can send you wire instructions.

Thanks
Mr. and Mrs. Marty G.

Wire Instructions via Email are a Red Flag

Leanne was confused. She just spoke to the sellers about the fact they bank at Navy Federal Credit Union. They never mentioned anything about SunTrust℠ being their bank. Plus, Marty was very specific about picking up his check.

Leanne replied to the email explaining she would not be able to accommodate his request unless he came back to her office to complete and sign her wire out instructions, and provide a copy of a voided check from his SunTrust account. She never received a reply to her email and Marty confirmed he never sent that email.

Careful Communication is Key

Leanne was confident she knew the email was a scam. She spoke in detail to the sellers about when their proceeds would be available, she knew their plans for the money and where they banked.

Leanne was particularly unnerved about the fact the hacker seemed to know exactly when the closing was scheduled for and when the sellers had left her office. It is scary how savvy the hackers were.

The proceeds were in excess of $355,000. Had Leanne not paid attention to the details, she could have fallen for the scheme. Instead, she is being rewarded and recognized for thwarting a loss the Company could have suffered.

Be Aware!

Online banking fraud is on the rise. If you receive an email containing WIRE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS call your escrow officer immediately to verify the information prior to sending funds.

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2018 Recorder’s Office Holiday Closure Schedules

2018 Recorder’s Office Holiday Closure Schedules

We are pleased to announce the availability of the 2018 Recorder’s Office Holiday Closure schedules for the primary areas that we serve in Oregon. These calendars assist in planning the timing of escrow closings at a glance, and each conveniently shows the following:

  • Days that the recorders offices will be closed
  • The last refinance-signing day for each month (in order to fund & record that month).
  • When Taxes become due

Visit www.TicorNW.com to view or download the calendar for your area

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Escrow & Title Insurance 101 [videos]

Escrow & Title Insurance 101 [videos]

A Rare and Exciting Event

For most of us, purchasing a home is an event that happens only a few times in our lifetime. Today’s homeowner stays in their home an average of 11-15 years. So it’s understandable that the typical home buyer may be unfamiliar with how escrow operates, what protection title insurance provides, and how to be ready for the escrow process when the time comes to make a real estate purchase.

Title & Escrow in Plain English

We’ve assembled a series of brief videos here that provide an overview of escrow & title insurance as well as insights into what to look for in a title insurance company and how to be prepared for escrow closing.

The Title & Escrow Experts

At Ticor Title, we’ve been insuring the home ownership dream for over a century. With a rich Pacific Northwest history and industry-leading financial strength, we provide the peace of mind and the personalized service that make the closing experience excellent for our clients and partners. If you have questions about the role of escrow or title insurance in your real estate transaction, our team of experts are here to help.

What is Escrow

What is Title Insurance

What to Look for in a Title Insurance Company

What to Expect at Closing

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True Story: A Vacant Lot & Fake Sellers Caught

True Story: A Vacant Lot & Fake Sellers Caught

Teri D., Closing Officer at one of our agencies, was processing a sale of a vacant, waterfront lot. The sales price was $205,000; a cash purchase. The purchaser paid $5,000 as earnest money and was working with a builder on plans to build a home on the lot.

Since the property was a vacant lot Teri realized the seller’s mailing address would be different than the property address; her office has an added precaution in place where the address provided is compared with the address for the tax bill on the tax assessor’s website.

Confirmation & Connecting with the Sellers

Teri discovered the vacant property address was different than the tax bill address. She sent a letter to the seller at the address listed on the tax bill introducing herself, her company and asking the seller to contact her to confirm the sale of the lot. The buyer was not obtaining a new loan so about a week later they were ready to close. Teri prepared the closing documents on Friday, March 31, 2017. She contacted the listing agent to find out where and how she should send the closing documents. The listing agent advised her to email the closing documents to the seller. Once again, in an effort to ensure there was no funny business going on, Teri also sent the documents via overnight delivery to the address on the tax bill. Everything was sent on Monday, April 3, 2017.

We’re Not Selling

On April 5, 2017, the real owners of the vacant lot called the Agency and asked to speak with the President. Brice C. took their call. The owners explained to Brice they received a letter and overnight package from his company. They told him they were not selling their lot and did not have it listed for sale. Further, they stated they already explained this to the listing agent on March 24, 2017. That was twelve days ago. Teri wondered why the listing agent did not tell her that when she called on March 31, 2017?

Questions for the Listing Agent

Brice called Teri into his office to share what he learned. She immediately called the listing agent to notify him the real owners just called her company’s president. She asked him why he did not tell her he spoke to them on March 24, 2017. The listing agent explained after receiving the email about the property, unbeknownst to him, he asked the fake sellers for identification. They showed him their passports. He asked for copies and they gave him copies. It never occurred to him they were false.

The real owners had forwarded their email exchange with the listing agent to Brice, where they confirmed they were the owners of the lot and were not interested in selling. Teri also asked the listing agent why he provided her with a different email address for the seller than the one he received from the real owners who communicated with him. He simply huffed at her. Was he really going to let this deal close knowing all of this? She will never know.

No, Thank You!

Fortunately for Teri this agent does not usually do business with her. It was the selling agent who encouraged the buyers to select her as their closing agent. The company resigned from the transaction.

Teri recognized the risks associated with sales where the property owner is absentee. Simply checking the tax bill and sending a notice to the address listed on the bill saved the agency and the underwriter from a potential claim.

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Best in Class & Getting Better! We’re Fortune #293!

Best in Class & Getting Better!  We’re Fortune #293!

Ticor Title is proud to be recognized as a leader in our industry as a member of the FNF Family of companies. We celebrate that in 2017 our rank has improved to the position of #293 from our previous position of #311 on the Fortune 500.

At Ticor Title, we believe that every transaction begins with a great team. Our team of professionals are committed to personalized service, clear communication, consistency, and the highest standards of conduct to ensure that our clients and partners have a best-in-class closing experience with every transaction.

We would like to thank you for your continuous patronage and support. We look forward to many years of innovation, growth, and successful closings together!

2017 Fortune 500

This year’s Fortune 500 marks the 63rd running of the list. In total, Fortune 500 companies represent two-thirds of the U.S. GDP with $12 trillion in revenues, $890 billion in profits, $19 trillion in market value, and employ 28.2 million people worldwide.

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Protect Your Property Rights With Owner’s Title Insurance

Protect Your Property Rights With Owner’s Title Insurance

Each year, approximately 20% of homebuyers fail to protect themselves by not getting owner’s title insurance. Unfortunately, this leaves them exposed to serious financial risk—causing endless worry and regret.

If you’re thinking of buying a home, here’s what you need to know to protect yourself and your property rights, so you can rest assured once you’ve purchased your home.

Looking For Potential Threats

During the home-closing process, your title professional will help transition the home from the seller to you, the homebuyer, by examining public records. Generally, if a problem is discovered, the title professional works to resolve them before you purchase the home.

However, even after a title search is performed and you purchase your home, problems could arise that threaten your ownership rights. Examples include:

  • Undiscovered tax liens
  • Forged signatures in the chain of title
  • Recording errors
  • Undisclosed easements
  • Title claims by missing heirs* or ex-spouses

Getting owner’s title insurance protects your property rights from threats like these. Here’s a real-life example of how it works.

True Story

A family in Missouri unknowingly purchased their home from a seller who had taken out a separate $419,000 loan on the property. But this fact was not discovered during the closing process, and the family’s lender paid the seller directly instead of paying off the existing loan.

Soon, the family faced foreclosure because someone else had claim against their title. Fortunately, the family had owner’s title insurance. So the title company paid the debt and the family kept their home—and peace of mind.

This story has a positive ending, but without owner’s title insurance, the family could have faced serious costs, and even eviction.

Protect Yourself

There are two types of title insurance: lender’s title insurance and owner’s title insurance.

Lender’s title insurance is required by most lenders and banks because it protects their loan investments. Usually, you purchase this policy as the homebuyer. If you only have a lender’s policy, where the outstanding loan is covered, your equity is not protected. Therefore, you could have your property rights taken away if someone else has claim to your home.

Owner’s title insurance is the policy that protects your property rights from legal and financial threats like those mentioned in the story you just read. That’s why millions of homebuyers each year make the smart decision to get owner’s title insurance. It’s a low, one-time fee that provides the peace of mind that every homebuyer deserves, for as long as you or your family* own your home. In many areas, the seller purchases the policy for you. Ask your title professional how it’s handled in your area.

Support and Free Information

To buy your home with confidence, you need to work with a trusted title professional. They’re the experts who will help you throughout the home closing process. They will also advise you on how to protect your property rights and avoid costly problems by getting owner’s title insurance.

For more information, please contact us.

*This article offers a brief description of insurance coverages, products and services and is meant for informational purposes only. Actual coverages may vary by state, company or locality. You may not be eligible for all of the insurance products, coverages or services described in this article. For exact terms, conditions, exclusions, and limitations, please contact a Ticor Title representative.

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6 Wire Fraud Prevention Tips

6 Wire Fraud Prevention Tips

Wire fraud has become a daily occurrence in our industry. Realtors®, Real Estate Brokers, Buyers and Sellers are targets for wire fraud and many have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because they wired funds based on wire instructions received via email.

Common Wire Fraud Schemes

A hacker can break into a licensee’s email account to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker sends an email to the buyer, posing either as the escrow agent or as the licensee. The fraudulent email may contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and request that the Buyer send funds accordingly. They could just as easily send an e-mail to the escrow agent posing as a Seller or a Real Estate Broker instructing the escrow agent to wire seller funds to different account rather than to the account provided at the signing.

Be Alert

Below are the procedures we have implemented at Ticor Title to keep our clients’ information and money safe and secure. We have also provided some tips on what a client should look for.

We encourage you to pass them along to your client so they are aware of the wire fraud scams plaguing our industry.

  1. Ticor Title will not accept disbursement instructions or changes to disbursement instructions via e-mail. Should a circumstance arise that requires disbursement instructions be sent via e-mail we will always contact the client to confirm the information received using a pre-verified phone number.
  2. If we are instructed to e-mail wire instructions to a Broker or a Buyer or Seller, they are always sent using encrypted e-mail.
  3. If your client receives wire instructions via e-mail, instruct them to ALWAYS follow up with a phone call to their escrow closer before they wire funds.
  4. Pay attention to the wording of an email requesting funds. Many fraudsters are “offshore” offenders and their sentence structure may be broken and may contain misspelled words or improper grammar.
  5. Beware of e-mail spoofing. E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail address so that the message appears to have originated from someone other than the actual source. For instance, you could receive an e-mail that you believe originated from your Escrow Closer or Broker because the e-mail address is the same as theirs. However, if you click on the e-mail address it will disclose the true e-mail address of the originator. E-mail Spoofing is a common tactic used in wire fraud campaigns and if you are not familiar with the tactic you are very likely to follow the instructions contained in the e-mail, believing they came from the proper party.
  6. Be wary of a sudden or urgent request for funds that were not anticipated or required as part of the transaction. Examples include a request for an additional earnest money deposit or extension fee that was not part of the purchase agreement.

Wire Fraud in the News

Click on the links below to view stories recently aired by KOMO 4 news on the subject of wire fraud. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you have or if you would like some additional information on the subject.

http://komonews.com/news/consumer/email-scam-targeting-real-estate-industry-gets-worse

http://komonews.com/news/consumer/real-estate-title-scams-steal-homebuyers-money-and-dash-ownership-dreams

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