Colony Title Group, Ltd.

Maryland Real Estate Title Insurance : MD : DC : VA

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What Is Deed Preparation?

The search for the perfect home might seem like a never-ending process. But once you find it, there are only a few steps that stand between you and full, legal ownership of the house of your dreams. One of those steps is the deed preparation.

What exactly is deed preparation? Basically, this process ensures that every “i” is dotted and every “t” crossed when it comes to your property deed. Having the deed in your name signifies that the house and attached property legally belongs to you. There are several different forms of deeds, and it is important for your title company, such as Colony Title Associates, to be knowledgeable about which one is the right fit for your property needs. Should your deed be a grant, warranty, quitclaim, or gift deed? The experts at Colony Title will know.

Grant deeds are pretty common. A grant deed ensures that the seller (and only the seller) is entitled to sell that property to you (and only to you). Warranty deeds are similar, but they also place responsibility on the seller for potential legal issues. A quitclaim deed is used to guarantee that the seller no longer claims any ownership over the property. And a gift deed is used often in cases of inheritance, when no money is involved in the transfer of property.

Have your deed prepared by a professional from Colony Title.

real estate negotiations

If you have questions, the Maryland real estate insurance experts at Colony Title Associates can be reached by calling 410 884-1160 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

 

Source:

http://www.realtor.com/home-finance/homebuyer-information/deed-preparation-and-real-estate-transfer.aspx?source=web

How Can I Stay Safe From Mortgage Scams?

Last month, title insurance companies in Florida were challenged to safeguard against potential mortgage fraud, as counterfeit Bank of America short sale approval letters were being issued to soon-to-be homebuyers across the state.  The forged letters used the bank’s logo as well as language comparable to what the company normally issues in its statements and notices; the scam resulted in an estimated $10 million in losses.

Bank of America responded quickly, however, and title insurance companies cooperated, verifying letters by calling an automated number.  The bank was willing and amenable to confirming approval letters, following the motto “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

The fraudulent activity caused homebuyers to purchase properties they mistakenly thought had clear titles, but in reality were devalued and subject to high-cost liens.

In order to prevent similar embezzlement, real estate agents, title companies, and owners are encouraged to follow through with the negotiator in order to verify that the approval letter is authentic.

At Colony Title, we go above and beyond our customers’ expectations in conducting thorough title searches and securing title insurance.  To prohibit against fraud when closing on your home – whether you’re looking into purchasing a foreclosure or otherwise  – contact the experts at Colony Title Group.  Our team will offer you peace of mind and ensure avoidance of title defects and costly claims.

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

Scams on short sale approvals

If I Am Refinancing, Do I Need Title Insurance in Maryland?

When you first purchase your home, obtaining a reliable title insurance policy is essential to ensure that you have all legal rights to your new property. However, what about when you decide to refinance your home? Refinancing is often the smart decision for a homeowner to make, but it does mean making some changes. You’ll find that when you refinance, you will need to revisit your title insurance policy.

The new loan that you receive to refinance your property comes with strings attached. Mainly, the lender, whether it is an entirely new lender or the one you initially went to when first buying your home, will want to do another title search to ensure there are no risks involved in investing in your property. This typically only means that the title search will be done; so long as you have your title insurance from when you first bought the property, you will not need to repurchase one.

If the new title search brings up new issues, then purchasing another title insurance policy may be necessary. Building and maintaining trust between you and your lender is important, and the legal security provided by a legitimate title insurance policy can help foster that in your relationship.

 

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

Colony Title specializes in real estate title insurance, real estate settlement services, and real estate closings in Baltimore, Columbia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. Our staff consists of licensed Title Insurance Agents, Real Estate Agents, Settlement Processors, & Attorneys to handle all of your real estate needs.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Source

http://www.homeclosing101.org/whyneed.cfm

What Is The Importance of Credit Checks and Having Good Credit?

Currently, 79% of all credit reports contain at least one error. And of this 79%, one in four credit reports have an error big enough to keep you from obtaining a loan. So what does your credit score look like? Do you even know?

It is important to know your credit score and frequently obtain a credit report. This way to can fix any abnormalities or errors as they occur. Additional tips for maintaining a good credit score include:

  1. Review Your Credit Report: Look for incorrect information such as address, social security number, birth date, etc. This is especially important if you have a common name or if you are a Jr. or Sr.
  2. Credit Cards: It is a good idea to keep your credit card balances at less than 30% of your credit limit.
  3. Set up Payment Reminders: Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score.
  4. Pay Bills on Time: Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, can have a major negative impact on your credit score.
  5. Respond Quickly: If you are contacted by a collection agency, you have 30 days to resolve the problem or pay the bill before the blemish appears on your credit report.

If you have questions, the Maryland real estate insurance experts at Colony Title Associates can be reached by calling 410 884-1160 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

Colony Title specializes in real estate title insurance, real estate settlement services, and real estate closings in Baltimore, Columbia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. Our staff consists of licensed Title Insurance Agents, Real Estate Agents, Settlement Processors, & Attorneys to handle all of your real estate needs.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

Good Credit Important in Today’s Economy

Do I NEED Title Insurance?

Lender’s Title Insurance is required if you need a mortgage.

Owner’s Title Insurance is not required (though it is still a good idea).

Lender’s Title Insurance is required because mortgage lenders require a certain amount of protection (equal to the loan) in case a title defect arises. As with mortgage insurance, it protects the lender but you pay the premium, which is a single-payment made upfront.

Unfortunately, a lender’s title insurance policy does not cover you, the homeowner. But you do have an option…Owner’s Title Insurance. It is a one-time premium that protects YOU from any title claims that may arise, such as fraud, forgery and filing errors.

Remember, homes go through several ownership changes and, as a result, any number of things can go wrong. These potential title problems include:

•    A forged signature in transferring title

•    Other title defects

•    Fraud

•    Unpaid real estate taxes

•    Other various liens

•    And much, much more!

Title insurance covers the insured party for any claims and legal fees that arise out of such problems.

How Colony Title Associates Can Help

As agents for a number of title insurance underwriters, we can issue title insurance as well as provide you with the information necessary to educate your client on the value of Owner’s insurance.

If you have any questions, please contact the Maryland real estate insurance experts at Colony Title Associates by calling 410 884-1160 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

Colony Title specializes in real estate title insurance, real estate settlement services, and real estate closings in Baltimore, Columbia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. Our staff consists of licensed Title Insurance Agents, Real Estate Agents, Settlement Processors, & Attorneys to handle all of your real estate needs.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

Questions About Title Insurance

Preparing for Foreclosure

Foreclosures have spawned a new industry, due to the recent law changes now in effect in Maryland and other states.  In Maryland should a lender initiate a foreclosure proceeding, the lender must offer the defaulting borrower the right to mediate prior to going forward with the foreclosure sale.  The borrower upon receiving notice of the pending foreclosure sends in $50.00 (to cover the cost of the mediator), and the court designates a date and time for mediation.  Prior to the meeting, the borrower has to provide documentation to the lender’s representative including bank statements, a hardship letter, evidence the borrower still lives in the property, tax returns, a completed 4506 form and 710 form, as well as any other extenuating circumstances for the lender to consider.  Once the mediation representative has received all documents, the lender reviews the information and determines whether the borrower is a candidate for loan modification or other relief.  If the borrower is upside down, they are more likely to get a modification than if there is equity in the property.

The process before mediation and after the meeting can take up to 6 months.   If the lender agrees to modify, the borrower is given a new payment under terms the lender believes are in line with borrower’s income.  If no modification is allowed, the lender can go forward with the foreclosure.  The process is trying and the best advice I can give the borrower is document everything you do and keep copies.  The lenders appear to have a convenient “black hole” where all documents seem to end up.  In handling one recent mediation, our client had the papers sent to the lender on numerous occasions, only to be told that he had provided no information or communication and the lender was not inclined to grant a modification based on the borrower’s failure to respond.  Our best advice is to hire an attorney who handles these matters and brace yourself for a trying time.  We are happy to talk with anyone in this predicament and there are other agencies who also handle mediations.

We at Colony Title want to be your Title Company and real estate law firm. For additional information, please contact Tee Tillman at 410.884.1160 ext. 3007 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Home Buying Tips

Interest rates are near an all-time low and the market is starting to show signs of life, giving homebuyers hope that NOW may be a good time to buy a home. But before you jump at the opportunity to begin house hunting, remember this: home buying is anything but an exact science. Still, there are more than a few tips and tricks that can help you finish on top.

Home Buying Tips

  1. Research the Community: Remember the old adage: location, location, location! Besides the obvious fact that you want to settle in a superb location, knowing the community can also help you in the negotiation process. What are comparable homes selling for? Are they receiving multiple offers? Are the selling for more or less than asking price? All of this information will help you make a realistic offer.
  2. Preapproved: Before you even think of making an offer, get preapproved for a mortgage. It puts you in a good bargaining position with the seller and lets you know what you can and cannot afford.
  3. The Negotiation: Be prepared to negotiate, not just the initial price, but after inspections are completed if items come up that you hadn’t anticipated.
  4.  Contingency Time Frames: Be sure to include realistic contingency time frames in your contract if you are applying for a mortgage.
  5. Title Insurance: If a previous owner perpetrated a fraud, committed a forgery or the clerk of the land records failed to record or recorded incorrectly, the purchaser is unprotected without owners title insurance. With the coverage, the title insurance company incurs the expense of determining the validity of a claim and defending against the claim. If there is a title defect, the title insurance company pays the claim so that the purchaser retains ownership without loss, or compensates the owner for any and all losses incurred as a result.

We at Colony Title want to be your Title Company and real estate law firm. For additional information, please contact Tee Tillman at 410.884.1160 ext. 3007 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Sources:

8 things to know about buying a home today

Title Insurance Facts, From Your Maryland Title Insurance Agent

Title insurance is a form of indemnity insurance predominantly found in the United States which insures against financial loss from defects in title to real property and from the invalidity or unenforceable of mortgage liens. Title insurance is principally a product developed and sold in the United States as a result of an alleged comparative deficiency of the U.S. land records laws. It is meant to protect an owner’s or a lender’s financial interest in real property against loss due to title defects, liens or other matters. It will defend against a lawsuit attacking the title as it is insured, or reimburse the insured for the actual monetary loss incurred, up to the dollar amount of insurance provided by the policy. The first title insurance company, the Law Property Assurance and Trust Society, was formed in Pennsylvania in 1853.  The vast majority of title insurance policies are written on land within the United States.

Typically the real property interests insured are fee simple ownership or a mortgage. However, title insurance can be purchased to insure any interest in real property, including an easement, leaser life estate.

Trust Colony Title Associates!

Colony Title specializes in real estate title insurance, real estate settlement services, and real estate closings in Baltimore, Columbia, Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. Our staff consists of licensed Title Insurance Agents, Real Estate Agents, Settlement Processors, & Attorneys to handle all of your real estate needs.

If you have questions, the Maryland real estate insurance experts at Colony Title Associates can be reached by calling 410 884-1160 or visit ColonyTitle.com today! Also reach us via Twitter

The Do’s and Don’t's of Title Insurance

Title insurance is like a game of chess, you have to make the right move in order to get checkmate.

To a great extent, securing property title insurance is an exercising a simple move in a chess game. Just as if you move your knight into the area of your opponent, title insurance companies refuse to insure properties with a history of legal uncertainties. Accordingly, the title examiner combs the records with an expert eye and identifies any potential problems, such as an unpaid tax assessment or a neighbor’s easement for right-of-way according to property right of way laws. The examiner then issues a preliminary report called a commitment, which lists these defects and informs you of any problems that the seller must correct prior to closing. If the company isn’t willing to cover a particular matter and the seller can’t or won’t correct it, you have a choice whether to live with the problem or bow out of the deal. If a title insurer refuses to write the policy at all, you can bet that the seller can’t give you good title.

That’s why it’s important to know not only what your title insurance will cover, but also what it won’t: what scenarios might arise in the future that would challenge your ownership of the property title deed. This chapter offers an introduction to titles, title insurance and various encumbrances that could endanger your ability to enjoy your home.

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

You Should Have Good Credit if You Are Going to Buy a Home

Maintaining good credit is often one important aspect of people’s finances that they completely neglect until it is too late. First being aware of your credit score when you are applying for a home mortgage is too late. Did you know that most lenders require a minimum credit score of 680? Do you know what your credit score is?

Disturbing Facts about Credit Scores

  • 79% of all credit reports have errors
  • 25% of all credit reports have errors large enough to keep you from obtaining creditreal estate negotiations

Tips for Maintaining Good Credit

  1. Occasionally obtain a copy of your credit report and go through it line by line to make sure everything is accurate. If you notice an error in your credit report, notify the credit-reporting agency as soon as possible.
  2. Keep your credit card balance at less than 30% of your credit limit.
  3. Be sure to pay your bills on time. Even just a few late payments can really damage your credit score.
  4. Avoid going to a collection agency at all costs. If you are contacted by the collection agency, you have 30 days to resolve the problem before it appears on your credit report. A collection account can lower your credit score significantly!

Have any more questions? Contact the Real Estate experts at Colony Title!

We at Colony Title want to be your Title Company and real estate law firm. For additional information, please contact Tee Tillman at 410.884.1160 ext. 3007 or visit ColonyTitle.com today!

About Colony Title Associates:

Founded in 1995, Colony Title Group handles in excess of 2000 real estate closings per year in the central Maryland area. The founder Tee Tillman has over 23 years of experience in the title and real estate law fields. Colony handles closings for several lenders, including banks, credit unions and mortgage brokers. Colony is the preferred choice for many real estate brokers in the area.

You can also follow Colony Title on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.