Tag Archives: Title Officer

Title Insurance And Flying: It’s Not All Burritos And Love

Title Insurance & Flying: It’s Not All Burritos And Love

Walking From Money Requires a Walk!

Walking From Money Requires a Walk!

Walking from a multi million dollar deal isn’t easy when you’re paid on commission. But I did it today.

I’ll tell you why, then you tell me if you would’ve done the same.

Flying

Years ago I gave a few flying lessons to a student who seemed heavy on the confidence side. Unusually confident. Most students walking into a flight school for the first time are demure. This guy was cocky and demanding. Loudly he announced that he pretty much knew how to fly an airplane; he just needed a good instructor. By “good” he meant an instructor good enough to recognize his extraordinary talents and after maybe one or two flights would sign him off for a final FAA checkride.

When we got in the airplane I realized Mr. Confident had a perspective rich with fantasy. Someone had given him a few lessons but he had a long way to go before becoming a pilot.

When Mr. Confident  asked if he could buzz the school where his sister worked as a teacher, I became suspicious. Before 9-11 I would’ve been concerned about his judgment but post 9-11, as this was, I had several concerns. Is he just an idiot or could he be dangerous?

No Shoes No Service

You’ve seen the sign, No Shoes No Service? There should be a sign at flight schools, no common sense, no flying lessons!

I wasn’t making much in those days and I hated the idea of losing a student/client. On the other hand, I didn’t want to wake up to find CNN on my front lawn!

I talked with Mr. Confident over a delicious burrito lunch. Sometimes it’s best to interview students on the ground in a common environment.  They’ll open up and give you insight.  About half way through my burrito I determined he was surely an  idiot but not intentionally dangerous. In fact in my estimation I deemed him too stupid to be dangerous.

About a year later I got a call from the FBI. But first…

Title Insurance And $xMM

There’s a lot of energy around any high value Real Estate transaction. Emotions and ego’s can ratchet up as the stakes get higher. A multi million dollar deal can sometimes get exciting.

In this case the listing agent was yelling at me.

Not always but often I’ve noticed when voices get loud facts get soft.

Mr. Loud was trying to bully his way through the transaction, a common old-school tactic. But in today’s world there are checks and balances in place to protect the consumer. There’s no room for old school tactics.

I held my ground

Stepping back and assessing the situation, here’s what troubled me:

The seller was well past 80 years old and a much younger relative stepped in to handle his affairs.

Red flag #1.

Anytime a party to a transaction is elderly there is concern about potential elder abuse. There are laws to protect the elderly because, believe it or not, there are bad people who prey on them!

Next: The buying agent stopped communicating.

Red flag #2.

Why would an agent stop communicating days before closing? Why wouldn’t the selling agent issue a notice to perform?

Next: The selling agent said it was an all cash deal. Escrow said there was a lender.

Red flag #3.

Why is there a breakdown on the most basic components of a transaction days before closing?

Next: The Title Unit asked for a copy of the appraisal. Common on high value deals because a property value has to be established in order for Title to issue a policy. Simply put, the insurer needs to know for certain how much risk they are incurring.

The buyer had an appraisal done but in this transaction no one except the lender is talking to the buyer, not even the buyers agent!

Of course the lender has a copy of the appraisal but the lender can’t provide it to anyone without the buyers permission. But remember the buyers agent is MIA!

So: The request for the appraisal somehow goes to the sellers younger relative who refuses to provide it because, well, without having a Real Estate License, unilaterally decides providing a copy of the appraisal just isn’t necessary.

Red flag #4.

Who’s controlling this transaction anyway? And why can’t we see the appraisal?

Three Strikes Your Out. Four Strikes I’m Out

I decided there was too much rick in this transaction and when I stood firm with my request for the appraisal the seller’s agent threatened to pull the deal and take it to another Title company. I surprised him by agreeing.  I suggested he do just that.

Most Title Reps would sell-out before walking from a deal this big. In my less experienced days I would’ve done anything to keep this deal alive. But as you mature, you begin to see that shortcuts don’t necessarily bring  you to success. Doing the right thing – counts.

In a previous post, Seduce Your Wicked Imagination / Reduce The Risk I wrote: Insurance company’s are in the business of managing risk, not taking on risk.

The selling agent continued to yell. He told me he’d have the deal closed in two days with another Title company. I told him to do it.

Flying And Mr. Confident

A year after asking Mr. Confident to find another flight school,  I got a call from the FBI.  Mr. Confident was being investigated for suspicious activity consistent with possible terrorist planning. I’m not at liberty to give up the details but I can tell you this much. My statement to the FBI suggested that if Mr. Confident were doing the things they were investigating him for in order to impress girls in a bar I’d say they were on right on track. But knowing how utterly incompetent he is I figured he’s not much of a threat to anyone other than himself. I never heard from the FBI again so I’ll pretend they came to the same conclusion.

What Would You Have Done?

Pick your area of interest:

Real Estate or Flying

Tell me below in the comments section what you would have done. Would you have closed the Real Estate transaction in-spite of the red flags? Would you have continued to give Mr. Confident flying lessons?

 

Epilogue

Mr. Loud came back a few days later and asked to keep the deal open. He would provide the appraisal. After three weeks he did provide the appraisal and we closed the deal successfully with all boxes properly checked. I can only presume the other Title company asked for the same documentation.

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Stats Be Damned. The Fear of Flying & Real Estate

Adored When Needed For Immediate Rescue

I’m standing within arms reach of a fully equipped, reasonably self-sufficient, mostly educated, all faculties operable, grown man with a full-time job and a car, who is telling me he’s afraid of flying. I’m a Certified Flight Instructor. I get this a lot.  And I understand.

“You’ve got a better chance of being struck by lightning than of crashing in a jet. In fact, you’ve got a better chance of being struck twice by lightning than of going down with one of the big commercial operators.”  The Unfriendly Skies by Willie Stern, The Weekly Standard.

The stats be damned. Math isn’t a subject most of us grasped in school. How can we be expected to embrace it later in life?  Few of us have any trouble driving our cars yet nearly 33,000 people were killed in 2010, one of the best years on our nations roads according to the NHTSA, (National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration). There were no, none, zero airline fatalities in 2010. None. See USA Today Travel. Does knowing this chase away the fear of flying? Hell no.

Real Estate is scary too, until you’ve traversed it a few times and start to understand what makes it fly. I remember buying my first condo. I knew nothing. Didn’t understand a single thing. I was told to sign here, and here, and here… and the next thing I knew I was a homeowner. I blindly bought a home.

Most of the non-pilot population will do the same thing with flying. You’re told to get onboard, fasten your seatbelt, put your stuff under the seat or in the overhead bin and turn off your phone. The next thing you know you’re in Kansas!

In Real Estate transactions I try to explain what’s going on in the simplest terms. But sometimes what I have to say isn’t what the person wants to hear. That’s when ego’s step up and logic runs for cover. Besides flight Instructing, I’m in Title, so I get to work with all sides of a Real Estate transaction. Not just the buyers and sellers, but mostly the Realtors and Lenders.

Title guys like me are similar to lifeguards on the beach. We’re hated when we’re telling people they can’t swim because the water is too rough but adored when someone is drowning and needs immediate rescue.  An astute Realtor once told me, “I don’t even think about Title unless the $*** hits the fan. Then Title suddenly becomes the most important aspect of the Real Estate transaction.” Well said.

When teaching people to overcome their fear of flying I start by showing how and why airplanes fly. And, once we get in the air, I let students take the controls and actually fly the airplane themselves. We conclude with looking out the window and enjoying the perspective few people have the privilege of experiencing. If you’ve ever flown an airplane, even if for a few short minutes, you are one of the elite. Most people in the world will never have that story to share.

There hasn’t been a nicer time to buy Real Estate than right now. Home prices are low and money is cheap. If you need someone to walk  you through it, contact me. If I can’t walk you through to your goals, I have many experts in every area of Real Estate I can refer to you. See, “Does Your Realtor / Lender Know What You Drive“.  Once you’ve signed here, here and here, look out of the window in your new home and enjoy the view. You’re now part of the American Dream.

Flying airplanes, buying a home; scary at first. But once you understand the basics it’ll become second nature. It might even become enjoyable.

Please feel free to leave comments.  And Remember, Sharing is Caring.  Thank you.

Note: Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com.

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Seduce Your Wicked Imagination / Reduce The Risk

Learning to Fly Brings a Sense of Freedom

If you’re anything like me, when you walked out of the DMV with your first ever drivers license in hand, you could almost see those once inhibiting metaphoric corral fences getting sucked into the ground, pushed away, and the freedom to drive – anywhere – seduced your wicked imagination.

I could drive my car anywhere. Well, I wasn’t really unbridled, not just then. I still had limits. Parents. But the possibilities were rapidly solidifying from mirage to reality. I could now feel the wanderlust right under the surface of my skin.
 
When you first get your Private Pilots license that feeling of freedom jumps to a magnitude only birds and a flier can know. The once two-dimensional ground magically morphs into a magnificent world of 3D and you’re now pals with Peter Pan on your way toward earning a seat next to the likes of Chuck Yeager.  You even have a new vocabulary. The language of flying airplanes.
 
The distance you could travel in your car, lets say driving for one hour, suddenly doubled itself with a small airplane. Your territory, now larger, sparked dreams of weekends away. Further away. To places you wouldn’t have considered going for just a weekend trip.
 
Flying airplanes spawns those kinds of dreams. And in my years of flying I’ve brought many of those wonderings to life. From airplane camping in Northern Wisconsin to weekends on Catalina Island and aerobatics in-between, flying airplanes gets into your blood and becomes a habit you’ll never fully purge, as if you’d ever want to. But there are limits. Not parents (unless you’re under age) but a host of other overseers who are there to protect us from ourselves or passengers we may innocently enchant with our magic carpets.
 

It’s not always the FAA clipping our wings.

 
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has volumes of restrictions, most are clearly in our best interests.  After the FAA I’d have to say Insurance Companies play a large role. For example, if you have a pilot’s license and a valid medical certificate the FAA says you’re qualified to fly to a destination like Big Bear City where the runway is fairly short and narrow, the winds are unpredictable, and the airport is surrounded by trees. However your insurance company is going to say, “Ah, excuse me. You need to go there with a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) first before you can go off on your own.”
 

Why would your insurance company make that a requirement when the FAA doesn’t?

 
The insurance company is managing risk. If you crash they are the ones paying the bill. So they’d like an extra layer of assurance you’re up for the challenge before they’ll issue insuance (take the bet) you can do so safely. It’s hard to blame them really.
 

Title Insurance Like Aviation Insurance

 
Back to my recent flight to Big Bear in a second. First lets take a quick look at Title Insurance. When you get a mortgage to buy property the bank is going to require you to have Title Insurance. That’s because your lender knows how much risk there can be if the Title of your property isn’t free and clear.  And un unclear Title, or clouded title, happens all too often for Title Insurance companies to recklessly take that risk. But before a Title company will issue a policy, they are going to do a thorough search of the Title chain. Why? Once again, to mitigate risk. A lot of pre-flight happens before you get the policy.
 

Would You Take This Bet?

 
Lets say you’re going to refinance a million dollar loan. The Title Insurance policy will cost approximately $1,345.  It’s a one-time cost, good for as long as you own your property. If there’s a default and a claim is made, the Title company may have to pay a one million dollar liability when they only took in $1,345.  Not a good bet!  To cover that loss the Title company will have to sell 743, one million dollar policies that will never have claims, in order to cover that one loss!  That’s why Title companies do Preliminary Title Reports before issuing policies, and that’s why Aviation Insurance Companies require rated pilots to fly with experienced flight instructors to difficult airports before allowing pilots to fly there on their own.
 

Ready For Take-Off

 
Flying Into L35 (Big Bear) Can Be Challenging

Flying Into L35 Can Be Challenging

“Shuttle One fly the runway heading, climb to and maintain 9,500′, contact SoCal on 124.7 prior to entering class Charlie airspace, squak 7220.”  The pilot I was flying with read back the instructions and the reply over the radio was familiar.  “Shuttle One read-back is correct have a nice flight.”

Before getting into the cockpit I reviewed all aspects of the flight with the flying pilot. Weather conditions, runway lengths, aircraft weight and balance, fuel requirements, take-off distances, density altitude and the affects on aircraft performance, and so on. We were well prepared to make this flight and, like a Title Company, mitigated our risk with thorough investigation.
 
The retarding forces are at max when the airplane is lined up on the runway center line and the power leavers are pushed forward. The airplane is at its heaviest (it becomes lighter as you burn off fuel) and there is rolling resistance (the coefficient of friction for that particular runway) as well as aerodynamic drag (the wind resistance against the aircraft). As the airplane accelerates rolling resistance plays the biggest role at first, but diminishes as speed is increased until rolling resistance becomes zero at Vr (rotate speed) and the wheels leave the ground.
 
Once airborne I felt, I always feel, that rush of freedom entering my bloodstream like a drug administered intravenously.  The feeling crescendos as we, the airplane and me, leave the ground and climb above the silent scream of humanities internal dialogue, the constant voice, longing for flight.
 
Please feel free to leave comments below and remember, sharing is caring. Thank you.

Note: Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at: ric.lippincott@ctt.com

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When The Secret Fails, Call In The Marines

Now Is the Time to be Grateful

I never was a Marine but I’ve seen Full Metal Jacket six times, about as many times as my friend has been to Afghanistan as a Marine. Frankly his enthralling stories scare the hell out of me. I’m both glad and ashamed I’ve never faced combat.

When The Secret came out I read it like everyone else. And I’m a Disciple. It’s irrefutable. Having a positive attitude has been repeatedly proven to improve performance in nearly all situations. If you want to be truly successful I vehemently encourage having a positive, grateful attitude with a splash of detachment. That way even if you fail, holding on to that strong positive attitude will cloak the failures from your friends. Totally cool, right?

But lately I’ve had misgivings about the message of positive thinking.  I’ve noticed a few of my colleagues have been spending more time thinking positive thoughts and being grateful for what little they have left – and less time rolling up their sleeves and getting to work.  So I started wondering.. what would the US Marines do?

If you need to lose weight: What would the Marines do? Would they join a Pilates class and hire a nutritionist?  Or would they do push-ups and run?

If you need to get a job: What would the Marines do? Would they go on-line and search Craig’s List?  Or would they hit the streets and storm a high-rise?

Recently a friend sent me a link to a video on YouTube that I hadn’t seen before. I’m speaking in the video along with a co-worker, Danielle Goldie, about Real Estate and the need for getting out and working. And a year after this interview with Richard Ramos I’m still saying the same thing. Get to work America!  (Watch the video.)

The best path to success is a healthy day of honest hard work. Then, when you’re about to fall asleep, think positive thoughts and be grateful you have a bed to sleep in. Some people are reading The Secret from the back seat of their car.

Please feel free to leave comments. Thank you.

Note: Besides being a CFII, MEI, Pilot, I’m a Title Rep.  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. Comments made here are my own and do not necessarily belong to my employer; Chicago Title & Escrow.

Chicago Title has been in business for more than 160 years. It’s a company you can trust.

For more information about Title Insurance or flying airplanes, contact me directly at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com.

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Flying Airplanes and Title Insurance

Last night I showed someone how to fly an airplane from 6,000 ft up and 15 miles away from the airport to the approach end of the runway, and then land, without ever looking out of the window.

I’m a Title Rep.  (Tie-tél Rep; a person or reptile that scurries through Real Estate Offices and Lending institutions in search of food, stopping at nothing, including stepping on other Title Reps in its pursuit.)  In other words, I sell Title Insurance. But even worse, I also fly airplanes. In fact I teach flying whenever I’m not in a Real Estate office. A lot of people have two jobs these days. I’m no exception.

The airplanes wheels gently touched the pavement. They squeaked, or screamed, for a half second while the resting tires accepted the change in weight from zero to 2,000 pounds and spun up to 70 mph.

Once stopped I got out of my seat in the cockpit and left the airplane for the debriefing room. There I’d discuss the flight just flown with my student. It had been a long day. Working Title from early in the morning and then flying at night. A sixteen hour day for me. Title Insurance and aircraft landings were merging in my head and then it struck me.

How is Title Insurance similar to piloting an airplane?

Before a pilot flies an airplane they do what’s called an acceptance check. The entire airplane is checked, the airframe, engines, safety equipment, every system, navigation, fuel, weight, weather, everything. Once the pilot in command is satisfied the airplane is safe and the flight can be conducted safely they’ll sign a legal document saying the aircraft is airworthy. After the daily acceptance check, the Captain or First Officer will do a preflight inspection before each subsequent flight that day.

Like a Pilot In Command, a Title Officer first checks the “worthiness” of the properties legal description before issuing a policy. That way when you buy, or “accept” a new home you are insured against anyone who may come out of the past to file a claim against your legal right to ownership of the property. And if too much time passes between the Prelim (Preliminary Title Report) and closing, the Title Officer will do a subsequent search or “date down” to make sure nothing new popped up since the initial “acceptance check”.

Unlike other types of insurance, Title Insurance insures property owners against events that occurred in the past that might adversely affect the present property owner. Part of the cost of Title Insurance goes toward searching the properties chain of Title, legal coats to correct defects, and toward making sure problems are cured before a new Title is recorded on a property.

Likewise a Pilot getting ready to fly checks the aircraft for any defects that may have been caused by previous flights.

Personally I find it comforting to know my airplane is fit to fly before getting on board. And I also find it comforting to know my Title Insurance Company has checked the Title on my largest investment and is willing to insure me against claims before I take ownership.

For questions on Title Insurance or flying contact me at ric.Lippincott@ctt.com

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