Many of us are using the services of title search companies who can integrate with our software providers and who can do most of the data entry needed to allow us to generate a title commitment to our lenders or consumers with relative ease. This technology saves hundreds of man hours in our offices freeing up our processing staff to work on title clearance and other matters necessary to move forward to a successful closing. The technology is seamless and user friendly and truly valuable to any title office.
BUT, do we run the risk of becoming complacent and neglecting to review the documents referred to in the title report, relying only on the cover page provided by the abstractor and the list of exceptions and requirements identified by their search and review of title? Have you ever had a situation where an item listed as a requirement or exception simply does not apply? Have you ever seen a situation where the title report reveals an exception that the consumer should review and accept prior to closing that was not shared with the consumer because the title report simply listed it as an exception to title filed at Liber X and folio Z; but that was never reviewed by a seasoned processor?
Many of us have seasoned processors on staff or a staff member tasked with title review who do take the time to review the documents referred to in the title report. But, it is important to remember that our seasoned processors will be retiring in a few short years and we need to be diligent about training those who are just entering the title business as processors to look beyond the cover page. They need to know WHY an item is listed as an exception. They need to know HOW it impacts the property and WHAT that may mean to the new purchaser. Taking the time now to train your new hires to properly review and understand title will save you endless headaches later and will ensure that the title community’s brain trust won’t wither as our seasoned industry members retire.
The opinions expressed in this article is that of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinion of any agency or its members.